Natural Disasters and the Solo Life
Earthquakes are not my thing.
I understand that a 5.8 earthquake is nothing compared with what the West Coast experiences regularly, but a 5.8 in Richmond, Va. is a big a deal to me.
And by big deal, I mean scary as crap.
I’m sitting in my office Tuesday afternoon, minding my own business. I’m procrastinating starting my next project and dreaming of the weekend. I’m wearing my trusty pair of slippers because my high heels are killing me. (Yes, I often wear slippers at work. That’s a whole other topic for another day.)
Suddenly, I hear crazy loud noises that sound like they are coming from the ceiling.
My office is located on the third floor of an old warehouse building, and every time the wind blows, it makes an incredible amount of noise. Immediately, I think it must be a tornado. But then, I look outside my window and see that it is completely calm outside.
And my desk is shaking. As are the walls.
What the hell?
“Earthquake!!” my mind screams.
I immediately start wracking my brain for the proper earthquake protocol. Get in the center of the building away from windows. No, that’s a tornado. Immediately get to higher ground. Damn it, that’s a flood. Get some fire arms and go to Wal-Mart. No, that’s a zombie attack. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE??
I decide I should get under the doorway. I seem to remember that from somewhere.
I stand under my doorway for a moment, feeling quite smart at my decision, and then look up.
The doorway isn’t even attached to the ceiling! This isn’t a real doorway at all!
I notice all my coworkers heading to the stairway, so instead of going to the stairway right next to my office, I follow the crowd and take the stairway everyone else is taking, the one across the office.
I’m such a sheep. A sheep, rushing out of a building during an earthquake in slippers.
By the time I make it to the stairs and out of the building, it is all over.
Three things occurred to me during this event:
- I have no idea what to do in an earthquake.
- I’m not the quickest thinker when it comes to natural disasters.
- Slippers aren’t the best footwear for a natural disaster.
Luckily, the earthquake wasn’t anything terrible. As I posted on Facebook, the extent of my earthquake damage was this drawer was open that previously wasn’t. I know, tragic. Email me at email@example.com if you’d like to contribute to the relief fund.
Now, we have Hurricane Irene coming our way. It occurs to me that this is my first hurricane without my ex fiancé. I’ve had enough firsts without him that I’m not all pensive, thinking, “I wish I could have experienced Irene with him.” This is a much more practical matter.
You see, my ex is really good with natural disasters.
He has canned food, four-wheel vehicles and flashlights galore. He has hunted since he was a child, so not only is he a good marksman, we had plenty of guns around in case there was a zombie attack. And, he has a strong sense of adventure (or recklessness), so he was known to venture out into an ice storm to pick me up.
Needless to say, I didn’t have to do much to prepare for a disaster. My ex had it covered.
Well, I live alone now. And I’m ridiculously unprepared.
I’m committed to weathering this storm by myself. I’ve started my Irene shopping list/to do list:
- Canned goods
- Granola bars (not those high in fiber, can’t have a tummy ache during a hurricane)
- Trashy magazines
- Ice cream
- Generator so that if the power goes out, my ice cream won’t melt
- Lottery ticket to win the lottery so I can afford said generator
- Did I mention wine?
- Check on my mom’s dogs, as she and my step dad are away on a cruise (Worst. Timed. Cruise. Ever. considering it was to the Bahamas right in the middle of Irene)
- Fill the bathtub with water (to help flush the toilet if the water goes out)
- Pluck my eyebrows (no one wants to be hairy during a natural disaster)
- Remove the chairs from my tiny porch
- Throw away all those dead plants on my porch so they don’t get picked up by the wind
- Get gas for my car
- Test Chef by asking him to come weather the storm with me/take care of me, cause him all kinds of undo stress considering how he will get to my house in the storm (30 minutes away), only to yell, “Syke!” at the last minute
- Survive my very first hurricane solo!
What else should be on my list? Any tips you can share?
East Coasters: I’d also love to hear your earthquake stories! Where were you during the Great Earthquake of 2011?
Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.