Ready or Not

It’s 4th grade and I’m at the school that looms large in my memory.

We’re sitting on the steps under the overhang of the building,  a covered entryway somewhere between in and out.  School hasn’t started yet and it’s almost 8:30.   I’m with my best friend Joyce and we’re playing a game called ‘Safety Sam,’ my mom’s invention.

No props just pure imagination and we’re preparing to go on a trip to somewhere and pack our invisible bags.

And then the low rumbling begins.

And the ground starts moving.

Back and forth.

‘Safety Sam’ is the name of the game and we quickly jump off the steps and run outside to the playground.

Mrs. Halgramson is there blowing a whistle, and early arrivers are gathering together and many are crying which I find strange.

‘Our house is cracked, and things were falling off the shelves!’ they say.

To me and Joyce it’s a game, but to others fear and destruction.

The date is April 29, 1965 and it’s my first earthquake but not my last. You can read more about it here.

Other places in the United States have hurricanes.  Tornados.  Flooding.  In the Pacific Northwest we have earthquakes and are always being asked the question:  Are you ready for the Big One?  But exactly how does one prepare for an earthquake?

This post was inspired by Lorna’s prompt over at Gin and Lemonade, Prep.

~ Susanne

18 Comments on “Ready or Not

  1. How scary! Here in Australia we rarely have earthquakes of any real size but the biggest one happened in the city I was living in many years ago and did a lot of damage. Great to read your Prep post 😊

    • Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂 We definitely live in earthquake country. There were a few here recently off the coast of Vancouver Island but thankfully most of us didn’t feel them in the Seattle area.

  2. My one and only experience with an earthquake was here a few years ago ..Only small but still scary 🙂

    • Yes, they’re scary. Nothing you can do. I was at work during a bigger one here in 2001. We were In a meeting when it felt like a train was coming through. We got under the conference table and fortunately there was little damage to our building.

  3. Wow! Somehow it had never dawned on me that the Pacific Northwest would have earthquakes like that! I always think of California being the earthquake-prone part of the country. The town I grew up in is pretty much right next to the San Andreas fault so there have been quite a few there over the years 😬

    • There surely have been some bad ones in California over the years! Did you experience any of them? We are very much in earthquake country here too. I experienced 2 major ones (1965, 2001) but a couple smaller ones as well. There were several big ones off the coast of Vancouver Island recently though I didn’t feel them. There are minor ones pretty regularly.

      • The biggest one I remember was the Coalinga earthquake in 1983. I was living in Clovis and I felt it there, but when the news said it was centered in Coalinga I tried to call my parents in Avenal which is real close to there, and couldn’t get through which was scary. They were fine, but there was significant damage to buildings “downtown”.

      • After you know you are safe, the hardest part is worrying about loved ones and their safety. Glad you all were okay. 🙂

  4. I had a college friend from Anchorage which was really shaken. I actually felt one here in Connecticut a couple of years ago. As the room was swaying I kept saying Connecticut doesn’t have earthquakes!

    • I remember hearing about the one in Alaska and just looked it up. 1964 and 9.2! One of the largest ever recorded in North America. I guess they show up when and wherever they want to.

  5. Wow Suzanne!
    I’ve experienced light tremors here in the UK but nothing like that which requires any sort of prep!

  6. I do remember that earthquake – I think I was standing on the playground at FB Cooper!

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