That was a completely surreal experience mainly because we were not expecting it! It was like getting t-boned by another car at an intersection when you least expect it. It not only rattled structures but also the psyches of many people.
Only one of my pets recognized it as a potential threat and ran to hide. I guess the rest of them are too senile to realize otherwise (and I suppose that is a good thing). No strange barking or meowing to forewarn their owner but then again he was in the midst of rocking out on the keyboards! 🙂
At first there was some strange vibrations and then the house starting creaking like it had been hit by a powerful wind! The only problem was that it was a beautiful sunny day out with no bad weather for hundreds of miles! I quickly verified that there was no wind gust and when I noticed objects rattling in the house (and no jets or space shuttles in the vicinity) I became suspicious. After about 10-15 seconds of this everything began to laterally move (sort of like if you tried to stand up on a waterbed or if you have ever been to Downtown Disney in Orlando – gone to the virtual reality venue) much like standing in a small boat in rough seas! At this point (and with one of the cats headed for the hills) I knew it was an earthquake even though in my mind I was thinking that it couldn’t be (after all we live in the Chesapeake Bay area not the San Francisco Bay area!
I quickly headed to the nearest doorway (which just happened to be the front door) and went outside. In my defense I must add that on the way to the door I did contemplate what to do with the pets! But there wasn’t enough time to put leashes on dogs and find cats hiding under furniture. Alternatively to open the front door and let the pets out would lead to further chaos. So in the end I chose self-preservation. I did not stop to get a favorite photo or valuable memento. At that brief juncture in time I had no way to know how severe the quake might be(come).
As it turned out besides a few things tipping over or falling off a dresser, etc. there was no damage.
I am glad that I hadn’t gone on the roof to look for the source of a leak (as originally planned). That might have been a real problem!
It was interesting that cell phones were useless. All the circuits were tied up – I guess it was similar to 9-11 in that respect. Texting did work as that is how I was communicating with my wife and children. They say social media was prominent but to be honest I didn’t send out a Tweet to my followers about the quake. Only later did I post something on Facebook. I guess in the end I chose to contact those that mattered most: my family! No followers. No friends. Just those that were the most important to me. And in the end that is what it is all about. After you take away everything else that is what really matters to me the most.