Saturday, August 27, 2011

Earthquakes, Tornadoes and Hurricanes - Oh My!

It's been quite a week! A little unnerving here and there. It always is when you face off with Mother Nature....

So, the 6.0 earthquake WAS a big deal around here and the topic of conversation for a day or two afterward. "Where were you when the earthquake hit?" "How did it feel where you were?" I (Pat) was in the basement of our three-story townhouse working on my Institute lesson. I could hear things falling off a shelf upstairs, but chose to stand in a doorway and wait it out. It felt like standing on top of an off-kilter washing machine. When the intensity began increasing, I wished I had run upstairs where at least I would have been on the top of the rubble.... Don was out running errands when it happened, stopped at a red light. As the car started to rock, he first thought it was a bad wind storm. He and the other drivers just sat there and looked around at each other, trying to decide what to do next. Then it was over - and all that was left was a pounding heart and grateful spirit.

We taught our regular Institute class that night in Crystal City, near the Pentagon. Our students were caught in various places during the quake. Some felt it, some didn't. Many were at work in high rise buildings. One young woman was on the Metro and had to endure a 10 m.p.h. trip home while the rails were being inspected. Another was in the middle of a temple session and afterward saw the tops of the four spires that had been snapped off. The Washington Monument and the National Cathedral were also damaged. After Andrews AFB was evacuated, Colin (Amy's husband) and fellow engineers had to remain on the job to inspect all buildings on base - inside and out - for cracks and damage. There was little damage and business is back to normal, but they take these kinds of things very seriously around here because there are so many millions of people packed into this area. Living in this burgeoning metropolis, everything comes to a screeching halt when the unexpected happens. (Especially the traffic: once this week we spent an hour traveling just 6 miles on the "belt route" in D.C.).

Luckily, the earthquake was just enough to shake everyone up and close government buildings, businesses and schools for the afternoon, but it gave us a lot to reflect on, especially with the hurricane (and attendant tornadoes) coming this weekend. PREPARATION. That's what's been on my mind. As long as we've been married we've followed the prophets' warnings to store food. Over the years, we've added a generator, some barrels of water, a heat source, etc. There is a great peace that comes from being prepared.... Unfortunately, our preparedness stayed in Draper when we came here. We brought along our emergency radio with a hand crank and one 72-hour kit for both of us. That's it. It's a lot harder to wait out a hurricane when you're not prepared.

As I picked up a few things at the grocery store this morning, I wondered which items on those shelves I might wish I had this weekend when it really hits. If I had a generator, some barrels of water, and some shelves stocked with food in the basement, I'd feel a lot more confident! I think I know how the people of Noah's day felt when the rain started....

On a lighter note, Kristen found and posted the following spoof on Facebook. I love it!

"The Weather Channel says yesterday's east coast earthquake was caused by an unknown fault line running under D.C. and through Virginia. It is now being called OBAMA'S FAULT, though Obama will say it's really BUSH'S FAULT. Other theories are that it was the Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves or that what we all believed to be an earthquake was actually the effects of a 14.6 trillion dollar check bouncing in Washington."

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