Correction: according to IRIS the earthquake was a 6.2, epicenter in Northern Colombia and also the most powerful earthquake in the world today. The 6.6 magnitude earthquake epicenter in the Department of Santander was felt through most of Colombia. Here in Pereira my building swayed in a circle. The depth reading of this earthquake was 161 Kilometers deep (100 miles). What happens when the unexpected hits? This is a topic that too many people assume that they are prepared without ACTUALLY being prepared. We live in a world of denial, no not denial, extreme optimism. The idea that “it won’t happen to me.” Then, when it does, you react like I just did:
First, something disturbs your work, play, whatever. The overly optimistic brain is slow to catch on and then when it does our adrenaline spikes.
Next, we try to kick into survival mode. This is different for everyone. I had just logged my last hour of work for the day when I realized that my building is swaying in a circle. Totally obvious right? I couldn’t freakin remember what to do!
So I grabbed my baby who was sleeping totally oblivious, probably having a great dream involving mom turning in a circle, and went to the bathroom doorway. By then my senses were on overdrive. I was seriously overthinking everything. Things like: “Am I doing this right?”, “Do I have time to Google it?” and “Yep, that towel over there is still swaying back and forth.” I did everything WRONG. OMG! Seriously! We spend our whole lives growing up in school doing drills and for me……mind freeze.
Here is what I should have done:
1. Grab baby as soon as I realize that “Yes, the building is swaying in a circle, this is an earthquake.”
2. Then, go sit (DROP) under the strongest piece of furniture (COVER)……which is our super skinny but stout kitchen table. You are NOT supposed to stay standing because you can fall down.
3. Finally, HOLD ON! If you are in a building that starts to collapse (or the 5th floor like I am), try to make yourself a small target and be under something you can just slide with while protecting your head.
Here is a funny video that will drive the point home!
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