Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Go Figure, An Earthquake

This afternoon, after the end of a Late Summer Lunch that was held by our local homeschool support group, I stopped by the church office to say goodbye to my friend, Pam, the church secretary.  She informed me that Washington, D.C.had been hit by an earthquake, that the Pentagon had been evacuated, and that people as far away as Hartford, CT had experienced some movement.  Now, I must admit, of all the news that Pam could have shared with me today, an earthquake report was nowhere on my list.  I didn't feel a thing.  Then again, after a few busy hours with homeschool moms and their very energetic kids, I was pretty preoccupied.  Still, I used to live in southern California.  You would think I would be aware enough to feel an earthquake.  Apparently not!

Watching the news coverage this evening, I was struck by the number of people and reporters who stated that they ran out of their office buildings.  Even the Pentagon officials, as mentioned above, emptied thier building.*  Believe it or not, this is not the recommended response.  Duck, Cover, & Hold is the advised action, as explained in this publication from FEMA, "What To Do During an Earthquake."  It does seem counterintuitive, but staying put keeps people out of the way of the most common earthquake hazards:  falling glass and debris from windows and building exteriors.  Of course, if you are walking on the street directly in front of a skyscraper, you may want to step into a nearby lobby to avoid falling debris but, generally speaking, remaining in place is less risky.

So, today is Tuesday and we felt an earthquake in the Northeast.  On Sunday, we could be in the midst of a hurricane.  Looks like it is shaping up to be an exciting weather week.

*A later report containing interviews with Pentagon employees shared that many people thought an explosion had occurred, understandable for folks who had experienced the 9/11 attacks firsthand.  In this situation, I would probably evacuate a building too, despite any recommendation to the contrary.

No comments: