Wednesday, July 30, 2008


You probably heard. Southern California had an earthquake yesterday morning. It was the first one I've felt since living here. It was at 11:42 am, and I was sitting at the piano with a little 5 year old girl. There was a mild rumbling and the house shook just a bit, but I wasn't sure. Sometimes the boys run into the house from outside on their skateboards and it shakes, or somebody jumps off the top bunk upstairs and there's a shake. But it caught my heart off-guard for sure. I looked around during the stillness, and then it started again. I knew this time. It was distinct and lasted for several seconds. The lights hanging from the ceiling were swinging and some things fell off of shelves. I swooped the little girl from the piano bench and we got down on the floor up against the couch, and my older kids got into doorways. Adam grabbed Conor from his crib (he woke up from the shaking) and made sure he was safe. And then it stopped. No big deal. No damage. No injuries. But it was unnerving during it. Everyone has been talking about "The Big One" for so long down here, and how it's so overdue that you just never know if this is it. How long will it last? How big will it be? What will the repercussions be? We were lucky this time. Seismologists are saying it's a "wake up call". The epi-center was just over an hour from here, but I know it was felt as far away as San Diego and even Las Vegas. It was a bit awe-inspiring to feel the power of the earth like that.

Our prophets and leaders of the LDS Church have always encouraged us to maintain a year's supply of food and water and supplies. This kind of self-reliance is smart living for a number of reasons, and it has been a boon to us during times of unemployment or financial hardship. I was very sad to have to leave all of my wheat and pasta and water drums behind in Utah when I moved here because there simply was no room in the moving truck for them. I have felt vulnerable ever since.

And during the three years I've lived here, there has been a seeming increase in the warnings to prepare, and I'm doing the best I can on meager resources. When Gordon B. Hinckley died early this year, maybe a lot of people don't know that just three weeks before he died he broadcast a Stake Conference for just the members of the Church in southern California, where he spoke along with a few others, and the theme was "Get Prepared". It was loud and clear. Prepare your houses, get your storage in order, strengthen your marriages and families, get ready. It was very sobering. And it's been on my mind ever since.

A few months ago, our Stake held a huge community Preparedness Fair, and Adam was asked to do a video on earthquake preparedness, of all things. That was a great learning experience for all of us, to go through the drills and reenact the scenarios on film. The kids knew just what to do when the house started shaking. Nobody panicked.

I am praying for the resources to get our house in order so that we will be prepared. I found a great bulk food co-op here, and I have my eye on an excellent wheat grinder and mixer. My heart is right, and I know the blessings will show up and a way will be provided. I want to be ready. I want to be free from fear and panic in the event of an emergency situation, and be able to focus on the safety and calm of the people in this house. Even be able to help others, if possible. Yesterday's "wake up call" has done even more to strengthen my resolve to follow the counsel given to us by living prophets.


Lesley said...

I'm glad everything is ok down there. Quakes are very scary. If you live where there are tornadoes or hurricanes at least you get a warning that they're coming, not so with earthquakes which makes them that much scarier, I think. Yes, I really need to think about being prepared. I haven't done much in that department, so thanks for the "wake up call" on your blog!

Wonder Woman said...

I've been in a bit of a bubble and had no idea there was a quake. Thanks goodness you were at least mentally prepared and knew what to do. I'd be terrified. I grew up in Kansas with tornadoes, and we had watches and warnings all summer long, but at least we felt safer in the basement with our radio.

Getting prepared on a meager budget is no easy task. I've tried to employ some techniques, but haven't been as persistent as I should be. One is to just buy an extra can of anything every time you go to the store. (I always forget, but maybe you wont.) There are also websites that work out exactly how much you need for x number of people for x months work. Start small.

I'm SO glad to know everything's okay.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

So glad it wasn't worse, and that it's yielded this positive effect for you. We need a kick in the pants every now and again, don't we?

Laurie said...

Scarey! I'm glad you are all okay. That's so cool that your family was prepared like that because of Adam's assignment. The Lord truely blesses us. I lack the faith most of the time but the answers are always there. Preparing storage for so many people in my family overwhelms me. I have to take baby steps. Slowly, we are seeing some progress. I hope we don't have anything major here though for a while. This was a good reminder post for me to stay focused.

YogaNana said...

We were relieved to hear everyone was okay and the piano lessons went right on. :o)

Those undersized moving trucks are a real pain, aren't they? I had to leave wheat, too, and a wheat grinder (heck, I could have given it to you!), canning equipment, a pressure cooker -- all sorts of stuff. Three moves equals a fire, they say.

Also waiting for The Big One up in San Francisco.

family said...

Hey so glad you are OK - I did not realise you lived in the affected area. Thanks for the reminder to us as well to "be prepared". We had a huge snow storm here the 1st year we lived here and our preparation helped many people in the neighborhood who were caught off guard without flashlights, batteries and ran out of food!!

Summer said...

Wow. Food storage has been weighing heavy on my mind lately, too. I hadn't heard about the quake. Freaky! Great writing- thanks for writing about Pres. Hinkley's conference- that was interesting.

(Found you on LDSWomen bloggers- just browsing. :-)

Anonymous said...

Can you post your earthquake video?
Give more info. on the food co-op
Does your Stake have the Prep Fair
every year? What Stake?
I would like to attend next year
if they do

I know! I kept waiting for it to be the big one!