Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July...And An Earthquake

First, a happy 4th of July to all on this patriotic holiday.  Next, an earthquake that shook southern California and Las Vegas too.  Our 4th will be spent quietly at home (we have enough pyromaniac neighbors that we get a professional-grade fireworks show without leaving our home each--and every--holiday).

And then there was the fairly good-sized earthquake that happened this morning which shook our city and brought about a number of interesting reactions--some people didn't feel a thing, others pondered diving under the poker table, one elderly gentleman thought his blood pressure dropped suddenly since he felt dizzy and unsteady on his feet, and one woman felt nauseous because of the movement.  Everyone was surprised since earthquakes are fairly rare here.  Among my immediate thoughts:

  • Do we have earthquake insurance (no), do we need earthquake insurance (maybe).
  • Where is the spouse (a quick call ensured that all was well).
  • How are the relatives who live in southern California (several elderly cousins live in the LA area, fortunately this quake caused no damage where they live).
  • What would happen if there was major damage in Southern California (we might have been hosting these relatives if they had a way to get here or we had a way to go and get them, both options would be impossible if there was major road damage.  Another problem would be the hoards of people coming this was from southern California since even a simple holiday weekend can turn the I-15 into gridlock for hours on end).
  • What if this quake had caused major damage in our immediate area (we are generally well prepared but there are several things that could exacerbate such a situation including: it is 105 degrees here since it is summer, the spouse has several health issues and medical care may be in short supply after a major disaster, we don't have a generator--and haven't needed one in the past decade--but a long-term power outage would be quite the problem, and we are pretty land-locked with small freeways and long distances through the hot desert to get away from this area.  Add to this the 300,000+ tourists in our city here for the holiday weekend;feeding and housing and evacuating and providing medical area for all of these people would be quite the mass casualty response).
  • What can I do to be better prepared in the event of a future quake (we are well set on food and water, I will look into earthquake insurance, I will talk to the relatives about their current plans for an earthquake or other natural disaster, and getting a generator to power at least a small air conditioner just moved up my priority list).
Bottom line, even if you aren't in an area prone to earthquakes, they can happen just about anywhere so take a bit of time this weekend to learn more about earthquake preparedness and determine how you can be better prepared should such an event happen in your area.

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