WHERE WERE YOU ON FEBRUARY 28, 2001 @ 10:54 AM?
I was sitting at my desk in my home office located on the Western side of Lake Union on Dexter Avenue. At approximately 10:54 am, I heard a rumbling noise and a bit of shaking that resembled a large truck or bus traveling up the road, when it finally dawned upon me that we were experiencing an earthquake.
At that time, I was working for a non-profit organization that provided safety and health training and related services to the construction trades. I had yet to venture in to disaster preparedness and surprisingly knew very little about earthquakes or the proper response procedures, which was evidenced in my next steps. Upon realizing it was an earthquake, I got up from my chair and went searching in a panicked state for the "best" doorway to seek protection. Mind you, I lived in new construction and there were 5 doorways to choose from within 5 feet of one another. There were two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a walk-in closet to choose from. I quickly shut the doors around me that had the potential for broken or flying glass and stood in the doorway to the master bedroom waiting or the shaking to stop. It seemed like it lasted forever, yet in reality I learned that the actual shaking lasted less than 20 seconds.
Some years later I began my career in disaster preparedness and soon learned that I certainly did not respond appropriately. Instead of seeking a doorway, I should have simply dropped under my desk and held onto it to prevent it from shuffling away from me. That is the proper response to an earthquake if you are indoors.
I share this story with you, because it shows that an "old dog" like me can learn something new. Thus, I encourage you to reflect upon your remembrance of your response and do a little self-evaluation of your performance.
If however, you were not here to experience the Nisqually earthquake, I would suggest you talk to a neighbor, friend, co-worker or family member that can share their experiences as we approach the 16th anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake next Tuesday.
When you think back or chat with others think or ask about the following:
1. How did you respond? Was it appropriate? Could you have done better?
2. I you experienced the Nisqually earthquake, how did you reach loved ones? How quickly did you reach your loved ones?
3. Did you take away any lessons learned from that event or any other earthquakes in history?
Make sure you have enough food, water, and other supplies to take care of you and your loved ones for two weeks. You don't have to build it all at once, take small steps to build up your supply. Keep in mind this is not a "To Go" kit and the items in your pantry count here too!
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