Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Caught in the middle of an earthquake

"There is a lot that happens around the world we can't control. We cannot stop earthquakes, we cannot prevent droughts, and we cannot prevent all conflict, but when we know where the hungry, the homeless, and the sick exist, that we can help."
~Jan Schakowsky
Yesterday our family as well as everyone else living on the eastern seaboard experienced an earthquake for the very first time in over 100 years... and it was very unsettling. I've only experienced hurricanes in my lifetime and having the ground shake underneath you is something I didn't take lightly. Now I know what the people in California go through with having quakes and aftershocks.  Luckily I had one of my dear friends visiting me when it occurred.

At first I thought the employees in the building next door to me (which is the one in the photo above), were outside tilling or building something. As I looked out the window there were no cars. It was then when my girlfriend told me it was an earthquake. I wondered if it wasn't for her being there, I probably would have reacted a little less calm. She used to live in California so this was nothing new for her...surreal, but very familiar to her.  My girls ran out of their room to ask us what just happened. They had a feeling it was an earthquake. My son slept through the whole thing. He's obviously a heavy sleeper.

My first thought was to gather my children and call my husband who was at work. His work is a 20 minute bike ride or a 10 minute car drive. Luckily we were able to get through to him in a matter of minutes. After a while he began to crack up and we eventually lost the call. It was then when all the lines were busy due to everyone calling each other because of the quake. There were certain friends I wanted to call, but I couldn't get through to anyone. Texting and sending messages on facebook seemed like the only way to make contact.

I also didn't even think of gathering any of the material things in my home. I know I should have at least thought of getting all the important documents I have contained in an emergency folder, but even that didn't matter.

All I thought about was my family.

After this experience I sat down with my kids and explained to them how this could have been a lot worse such as the quakes in Japan & Haiti, and how we need to seriously prepare ourselves in case of a major catastrophe.

We did, and we are.

You never know when an unfamiliar event of mother nature is going to take its course. Nowadays it doesn't seem to matter where we live. Disaster can strike anywhere at anytime.

Although there was no physical damage in Virginia I pray for those who may have just been startled by it, and that this experience will strengthen them.

I also hope that in an event when something drastically occurs in our area that I can be one of the strong ones to get out there and help others. All I have to depend on living here on the east coast are my neighbors and the members of our church.

  I pray that we can all gather together without any hesitation and just help.

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