Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shake It

Last night I was at The Mama's house for our weekly dinner when the house started to shake for rather a long time (15 seconds is an eternity to wait to see if this is the Big One). Turned out to be a 5.6 quake centered near San Jose, about 50 miles away.

I used to live on a San Francisco hill sitting on bedrock for seven years and never felt one single earthquake. I have lived in the east bay now for almost two years and I now know that earthquakes happen all the time. Hopefully this is not a sign that the ground under my building is headed for liquefaction.

But, it was a good reminder to check the emergency supplies. Water, check. Tasty Bites, granola bars, instant oatmeal, tuna, peanut butter and crackers, check. Plastic bags, check. Flashlight, check. Batteries, whoops! Extra food and medicine for my dead cat, check.

Things I should have according to the California Office of Emergency Services but don't: good God, too numerous to mention. But I'm a harm reductionist--having something is better than having nothing so don't be paralyzed by this crazy long list and get cracking. Even if you don't live in a shake/hurricane/tornado/levee failure/blizzard zone, it's not a bad idea to stock some water.


themama said...

After the earthquake I too had the moment of panic when I realized that my water is stale and all emergency food items expired. It's hard to keep up with! So I looked at the link that lists what you need since I'm always looking for new ways to feel like I'm not doing enough and I'm a bit perplexed about "stamps" under communication supplies. If an earthquake is so bad that we're living in tents in golden gate park with our tubs of emergency supplies (that somehow we drag there?), is the post office going to come around and collect letters?

Professional Critic said...

Excellent point, Mama. Surely when we're cooking with our camping stoves by candlelight because there's no power we'll all be worried that our PG&E bill gets there on time.

shooter said...


You'll be happy to know your friends from up north have roughly 10 gallons of water, several days worth of food, camp stove and fuel, first aid kit, blankets and a tent in our disaster kit. Heck we even have food for our cat.

Professional Critic said...

Shooter, I forgot to add wind storms/tree falling on house as a possible disaster. No area of the country is really safe, is it?