I am a mother now with my baby resting peacefully on my lap as I write this. The Nisqually quake happened about eight years ago. I was in the ninth grade at the time and attending junior high in Puyallup, Washington. I was in a Northwest History class when it happened. Since the school was under construction, there was quite a bit of heavy equipment operating and always a new route to class due to the ever moving cyclone fencing to keep the kids safe, yet bewildered.
I was in a portable classroom and suddenly I felt the room shaking. I figured that it was one of the heavy equipment operators running into the building, ready to crash through the walls. The girl sitting in front of me was from California, I saw her instantly dive under her desk and realized I should do the same. It dawned on me that I was in an earthquake! The teacher yelled out for everyone to “duck and cover under your desks!” I saw the floor, made of plywood and carpet, roll in waves as the earthquake played out. It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time. Most kids in the class, actually the whole school, remained calm, yet chatty. It was the staff of the school that wreaked havoc and madness of the event as they made announcements over the intercom that there could be more shock waves and that we all must stay on campus and that someone will be coming around to evaluate injuries and so forth.
Well, to make the story short, I decided to take this opportunity to behave in a typical rebellious manner and specifically leave campus with some friends who also thought it would be a prime opportunity. I left campus with a group and enjoyed a drag off of someone else’s cigarette while I overheard more intercom announcements being made that seemed quite over reactive.
Within the next month and really ever since then, I meet people that are all totally about disaster preparedness, right down to storing a variety of hard-to-break miniature wine jugs, just in case all other liquor bottles are either destroyed or quickly consumed by others. Personally, I do not have an extra stock of canned food, nasty peanut butter, liquor, cigarettes, bacon grease or powdered milk. I do keep medical equipment ready to use and my first aid and CPR skills current. I do my best every day to help better my community through community networking, outreach, and action. I am not overly worried about the next earthquake and know that the best defense is to remain calm.
By Satori West