Morgan Hill Earthquake – CA – April 24 1984

Okay, why the SPECIFIC date for this one? It was my wife’s BIRTHDAY! How’s THAT for a birthday present?

They say a quake has to be at least a 4.0 for you to even FEEL it. And sure enough, the first one we felt was like a 4.2. We were sitting in the living room and suddenly it felt like there was an unbalanced load in the washer and it was shaking the mobile home. Only we didn’t live in a mobile home, and the washer was out in the garage on a concrete floor. We were like, “Ooo, was THAT an earthquake? Cool!”

I was at work when the 6.2 Morgan Hill quake hit. I had a nice office on the ground floor with an outside window. First, I felt the shaking and thought, “Cool, now THAT’s a quake!” But it didn’t stop, it kept getting worse. When the ceiling panels starting popping out and bouncing around above me I started to get concerned. Concerned enough that I picked up my office chair to break out the window so I could get out of a building I was certain was going to collapse any moment. Then it stopped! Just like that.

That’s when you could spot the NATIVE Californians. They popped out of their offices and immediately began BETTING on things like distance and direction of the epicenter, whether it was a lateral or vertical shock wave, and of course, the guestimated magnitudes.

One of my friends was JUST pulling into the parking lot when it hit, but she didn’t feel it. There was a “Roach Coach” in front of the building (a rolling restaurant). Suddenly people started streaming out the front doors! She thought to herself, “Wow, they must really be hungry!” hahahahaha

A funny story, not related to me at all, but I HAVE to share it. Up in San Francisco, in a high rise building, there was a training class in progress. Cameras rolling. “What to do in an Earthquake”. The speaker has JUST finished saying that the WORST thing you could do was to jump up and head for the door. He said, if an earthquake WAS to hit, he would drop anyone trying to doing so. And then the building begins to shake!!! Can you believe it? NO ONE headed for the door!!!! hahahaha What are the odds that you would have a significant earthquake DURING an earthquake preparedness class, WHILE it’s being TAPED? Priceless.

All in all – it’s a birthday she will never forget

MY preference? Tornados. You can SEE them and you can get out of the way. In an earthquake the very ground is moving, all over the place. There is nowhere to “get out of the way”. I am sure it is all what you are used to. I’ve had lots of exposure to tornados throughout my life, so I am more comfortable with them. Californios have much more exposure to quakes and I’m sure they feel more comfortable with THEM.

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