We were woken this morning at 4:35 by a crashing sort of rumble and a shake.  At first I thought that Fainjin had climbed over the bedroom-doorway gate, but as soon as that crossed my mind, it was replaced by the thought “Earthquake!“.  And as soon as that thought crossed my mind, it was over.

“Quake?” I asked, and “Oh, yes” came the reply.  I don’t know why I always assume he is more awake than I am when this sort of thing happens.  I flicked on the radio, and heard the announcer say that there had just been a small shake in Wellington.  Ok, then.  The children slept on, we didn’t even get up to check on them.  Then there was a correction on the radio – Wellington might only have felt a small shake, but in Christchurch there were several reports of damage and a lot of frightened people.  We kept the radio on for updates, but drifted in and out of sleep.

Just before 7am, there was another report about the quake – 7.4 they said, it was later downgraded to 7.1 – and then a music break.  The Dad laughed at the first note.  It took me a few seconds longer to recognise The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”.  About half-way through the song, the announcer apologised and changed to another song… I suppose someone hadn’t really looked at the playlist before pushing the button.

We got up and went about our day, punctuated by calls, emails and texts to and from family and friends, everyone checking in.  Some reported no damage, others floors strewn with debris, others some structural damage to their roofs and houses.  Everyone is safe, for which we are very grateful.

It could have been so much worse.  A few hours earlier or later, and there would surely have been several deaths.  The photos of the damage to the  inner city are just incredible.

We won’t be the only family in NZ checking our Earthquake Kit this weekend.  It’s a good reminder to make sure there is sufficient (and reasonably fresh!) bottled water for all of us for three days, a supply of batteries, a radio, torch, food the children will agree to eat before they get to starvation point, and an up-to-date first-aid kit.

How well are you prepared for a natural disaster?

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

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5 Responses to “Quake”

  1. Jess Says:

    Wow, that was a pretty strong quake!! Gosh, we don’t have anything ready for a natural disaster. Nothing! Bush fires are a real concern here. Hmm…. I must get onto that.

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      Don’t forget nappies and baby food, and a toy to keep him distracted 🙂 And remember to provide for your dogs too! Not that everything has to be kept separate – just have enough on hand for an emergency, and know how to get it together quickly.

  2. Jill H. Says:

    So glad everyone is ok! Theoretically, since I *teach* disaster preparedness as a Public Safety volunteer, I’m very well prepared. But when Hurricane Earl passed by this week, I realized that while I do have all my supplies somewhere, this new house is still so disorganized that Lord only knows if I could find what I needed, if I needed it! [makes note on margin of already massive to-do list]

  3. Stimey Says:

    Scary. Glad you’re okay! A couple of years ago I got all motivated and put together a couple of bins full of water packets and MREs. Although I kind of imagine that my kids would rather go hungry than eat a four-year-old MRE pineapple upside down cake.

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      Yeah, I think that’s going to be our problem. While trying to escape the tsunami and digging a toilet in the back yard, we’ll also be dealing with whiny children who don’t *want* to eat dry crackers and cold tinned spaghetti. Ingrates. Actually, what’s preying on my mind at the moment is the call to boil all drinking water for at least three minutes. If power and gas were out, would we be able to do that? For up to three days? (That’s the period we’re advised to aim for self-sufficiency). Must check camp stove, barbecue, and bottled gas supplies. Of course, if we have enough bottled water, I suppose we’d be ok. But still. Let’s avoid the cold tinned spaghetti – we could at least heat it 🙂

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