I moved to L.A. in June 2010. I experienced my first earthquake in June 2010. Welcome to California!
I was watching T.V. in my Hollywood sublet when suddenly the couch beneath me began to sway. Having come from the East Coast where we have tornado drills, not earthquake drills, I sat helplessly while the mirror on the wall rattled.
“Is this an… earthquake?” I thought, rapidly followed by, “Why the hell did I move here?” and “This was a terrible idea.”
Do I duck and cover? Stop, drop, and roll? Get in a doorway? I desperately wished for a tornado instead, because at least I knew to tuck myself into a ball on the floor and protect my neck.
At a loss, I simply sat there ’til it was over 10 seconds later (note: this is not an effective way to deal with earthquakes). After that, did I educate myself about what to do next time and stock up on the appropriate emergency supplies?
I did not. I went about my daily business for almost a year, attending improv shows, meeting people, temping, writing, groveling for jobs, etc.
The recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan got me thinking. 1) I know we have earthquakes in L.A., and 2) it doesn’t hurt to be prepared (or at least know “stop, drop, and roll” is NOT an appropriate response).
I dubbed this past weekend my first annual EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS EXTRAVAGANZA, taking me to such far-flung magical destinations like
The weird emergency supply shop on Santa Monica!
My stash now includes: a two-week supply of non-perishable food and water, sleeping bag, plastic tarp, electric lantern, flashlights, tools (duct tape, gardening gloves in case of broken glass), and loads of First Aid supplies.
I even read up on earthquake preparedness:
For the record, the proper procedure for earthquakes is… wait for it…
STOP, DROP, AND HOLD ON!
You are now prepared for your first earthquake. Good luck!