When the ground shook

A couple of nights ago I was awakened from a deep sleep by a rumbling which shook the bed. The sensation lasted for several seconds. Even in my groggy and dream-ridden state, I knew what had happened.

I had just felt an earthquake.

My mind raced with this new knowledge and I checked the time, wondering if that information might later be important. It was 4:25am. Vowing to Google the Internet in the morning for confirmation of my suspicions, I fell back asleep.

I’ve lived, all told, in BC for 8 years. And even though I probably shouldn’t feel this way, I still experience a little thrill when a small earthquake occurs. I don’t think I’ve felt one over the past year that I’ve lived – again – in Victoria, but now I feel I’ve been re-initiated back into living on the West Coast. Earthquakes are just a part of life here.

In the morning I checked the web and, sure enough, a quake had occurred. It had hit fifty-nine kilometres northeast of Victoria, and its magnitude had been a measly .5 on the Richter scale.

We all know here that it’s a ‘when’ situation as opposed to an ‘if’ situation regarding a big earthquake hitting our region. If I had been awakened from a deep sleep at the magnitude of the one I experienced, just imagine what something even higher might do to our houses, our schools, our infrastructure. Someday, that just might happen. I’m pretty sure it won’t be exciting then. It will be devastating.

Are we prepared for such a catastrophic event? I admit that I, for one, am not. Even though disaster management is something I’m surrounded with on (almost) a daily basis, I haven’t yet gotten around to creating my survival kit. I hope to rectify that situation after I move.

Do you know how you need to prepare to weather (no pun intended) a disaster in your area? It doesn’t have to be risk of an earthquake, it could be any number of other things that we’ve seen North Americans face over the last several years. Hurricanes, floods, fires, terrorism … you name it, and some of us have faced those challenges. Isn’t now a good time to start to prepare?

I see that six other earthquakes have hit the Vancouver Island area since I experienced that one the morning of September 20th. Even though I haven’t felt a single one since, it’s clear they’re still going on. In fact, earthquakes happen every day in British Columbia. Isn’t that amazing? And scary?

Don’t you think we ought to be prepared?

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