As most may know, Southern California has had quite a few earthquakes the past couple of weeks, bringing about the ever-so-popular question of “Is the big one coming?” There’s no definite way to know, but it’s a definite reminder that we need to be prepared.
I was in third grade when the ’94 earthquake happened. It was devastating. Walls had come down, roads had torn apart, and there was no water or power for days. Thousands of aftershocks happened. I remember during the quake, my mom was still pregnant with my sister, yet somehow she managed to protect my brother and me. My dad was up about to get ready for work, but he made it upstairs to make sure we were okay. Eventually, we made our way downstairs where the memory of the aquariums shattered on the floor still stand out in my head. Fish were flopping around. We huddled together on the couch thinking that perhaps the worst was over until another quake hit. At that point, my dad had us go outside where we saw all of our neighbors gathered together in an open area.
Months before the ’94 earthquake, I remember my first 2 earthquakes. They weren’t big enough to cause any harm, but they were enough to startle the community. The first time, I was running around chasing my brother, when my mom and aunt stopped what they were doing, stood against the wall, and told us to stop running around and come to them. I was so confused. I didn’t feel a thing, but then again, I probably didn’t know any better. I would never have thought that they would be foreshocks; neither did the seismologists until after the Northridge earthquake happened.
It definitely concerns me that these smaller earthquakes may lead to a bigger one, so my husband and I have been preparing. I’m so thankful we work together so well; it seems like planning anything together is too easy. We got a first aid kit, battery-powered radio, and bottled water handy. We’ve been avoiding processed/canned foods for sometime, but we decided it might actually be a good idea to buy some of this stuff in case we do find ourselves in some kind of disaster. We talked about where to meet in case we are separated, and what to do in case it happens in the middle of the night. Considering my husband and I were both living in the Valley when the ’94 quake happened, we have a lot of memories fresh in our minds to keep us on our A-game, but regardless of this, we all know the basics on being prepared.
At the end of the day, we need to respect the earth. We can’t say we fully understand everything this planet is capable of, so let’s respect and take care of it while it still has something to offer us.