Last night, at about 8:40, a bus hit our house. The house slammed forward and then back and stuff downstairs made out of glass rattled around. The only trouble is we’re not on a bus route. We are, however, on the Hayward Fault, which runs directly behind our house and is slated to swallow us all up sometime in the next thirty years. The thing that ran into our house last night was a 4.2 magnitude reminder of that apocalyptic possibility.
The USGS (the United States Geological Survey) calls an earthquake like that a “light” earthquake. I’m glad they don’t do food labelling. If they did, we’d all be obese — these people don’t know what light really means. That bus hitting the house thing was no “light” experience. It was heartpoundingly scary and unsettling. Houses are not supposed to move. And if you look at this link, and scroll down to where yesterday’s 4.2 earthquake is highlighted in red, you’ll see that after it were a bunch of little jolts and sqeaks. Those get called “minor.” Maybe so. But this weekend, while I’m gone with some friends, my husband is putting together a major earthquake kit.
An earthquake kit is enough food, and drink and medicine and money and water and batteries and flashlights and blankets and booze to keep you going for a while — probably a long while, given the government’s predilection for not rescuing Americans who’re victims of natural disasters. Our trouble is that we always end up eating the peanut butter and soup we’ve stashed away in the earthquake kit and we can’t seem to ever find the camping stove to put in there. And when we need extra money or a flashlight — well, there’s always the earthquake kit.
This weekend, that will be fixed. Now we just have to remember to stand under a doorway or duck & cover under the piano next time the bus hits the house. Our impulse to stare at each other with our mouths open will not serve us well when that 4.2 minibus of an earthquake becomes a 7.2 freight train.
Have a safe and fabulous weekend.