An earthquake poll

Here in Southern California, we just experienced another little shaker, as referenced in plankter’s thread here. It always gets me to thinking about other people’s feelings on earthquakes, so this’ll just be sort of a generic poll.

  1. Have you ever experienced an earthquake? When was your most recent experience?

  2. If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.

  3. Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?

  4. If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?

  5. If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?


1) Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
Well, yeah, obviously. Today was most recent.

2) If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.
Technically, the largest quake I’ve felt was the Landers Quake in 1992, but it was far enough away from me that it had a fairly minimal impact on me. The Northridge Quake affected me most, by far. I lived in a three-story apartment building near downtown LA at the time, and I pretty much went flying from the room as soon as it hit (which turned out to be fortunate, as I had heavy speakers on a shelf above my pillows that came down during the shaking). We lost power, and we gathered with our neighbors in a darkened hallway to watch one guy’s portable TV to find out what was happening.

Our building suffered some superficial cracks, and I think we lost a couple of dishes in the apartment, but no real damage. The one thing that was advantageous to me is that I had been grounded at the time and forbidden from phone use, but my mother allowed me to call my girlfriend at the time anyway to let her know I was OK. :slight_smile:

3) Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
I don’t particularly fear them, although I don’t consider them anything to look forward to, either. The chances of my house or my office building downtown collapsing are pretty minimal. In some ways, I’d rather be at work when a big one strikes, as I think the buildings are better suited to it, and the sound of a house shaking violently is just not pleasant at all.

4) If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?
Sad to admit this, but I don’t. We get Sparkletts delivery at home, so there’s always bottled water around, but that’s about it.

5) If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?
As I said, earthquakes don’t particularly frighten me, so I’m happy where I am. Granted, we don’t have the advantage of early warning, but I really, REALLY don’t like thunderstorms, so I think I’d soil myself if I ever got anywhere near a tornado. I have no idea how I’d deal with a hurricane, but I hate traffic, so the idea of getting caught in an evacuation effort doesn’t appeal to me, either. I’ll take earthquakes.

1) Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
Yes; 1999.

2) If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.
It was pretty low magnitude and the epicenter was in another county. It felt and sounded like a really large garbage truck sped by the classroom I was at a really high rate of speed.

3) Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
Nope. I live in eastern Tennessee. They almost never enter my mind.

4) If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?
Not applicable. While West Tennessee lies alonge a faultline, the one I experienced was a total fluke and I don’t remember the cause.

5) If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?
I live in an area that gets a lot of tornado warnings but have never seen one and prefer this arrangement. I’d be least thrilled about living in a hurricaine area.

  1. Have you ever experienced an earthquake? When was your most recent experience?
    Yes. I don’t remember the last one I felt, but the last one I remember was the Northridge Quake.

  2. If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.
    What was the magnitude of the Northridge Quake? I was in bed of course. Normally if an earthquake is strong enough to wake me up I say to myself ‘Hm? Oh. It’s an earthquake.’ and then I go back to sleep. This time I actually got out of bed and stood in a doorway. (This is the only time I’ve gotten out of bed for an earthquake.) By the time I pulled clothes on and determined there were no gas leaks, my neighbours were outside. I thought I might be able to see the water sloshing around in the pool, but when I brought out my Coleman lantern everyone was thanking me for bringing them light and I couldn’t get to the pool in time. An overpass on the 10 came down two exits east of me. (Fairfax, I think. Or La Cienega. I don’t remember.)

  3. Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
    No. I find them exciting, and a reminder that we live on an active planet.

  4. If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?
    I haven’t felt an earthquake in Washington, but there are volcanoes about and we are on the ‘Ring of Fire’. I don’t have a ‘kit’ per se, but I do have a lot of useful stuff around here including a generator and many camp stoves. I have an REI Backpaker First Aid Kit (an earlier model than the one in the link) in the house, and another one in the Jeep.

  5. If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?
    Earthquake. Earthquakes happen rarely and usually don’t result in a lot of damage. Tornados happen every year and seem (in my impression) to cause much more havoc.

  1. Yes. The largest one I can remember was an aftershock of the Northridge quake. 1994 I believe.

  2. I was in an adult store in West Hollywood. Dildos and other assorted sex toys fell off the shelves.

  3. I don’t really fear them

  4. Don’t live there

  5. I’d choose earthquake territory in a heartbeat. I also went through Hurricane Andrew. Bad thing about hurricanes is the constant waiting for it to hit. I get tornadoes here in Texas as well as when I lived in Ohio. I’ll take the quakes.

:smiley:

  1. Have you ever experienced an earthquake? When was your most recent experience?
    Nope.

  2. Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
    Not actively as such; it doesn’t keep me up at night. But when I think about it, it does seem very scary.

  3. If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?
    Probably earthquake, because serious earthquakes seem to be least frequently. Even “minor” tornadoes do a lot of damage. Hurricanes? Well, they just make it easier for the sea monsters to get you, not least because you’re presumably living quite near a coast.

Note: sea monsters are something I actively fear. I figure that living at an altitude of over 7000 feet in the middle of the desert I’m pretty safe for now. But actually, that gives me another reason to fear earthquakes: eventually there’s gonna be a real big one, California’s just gonna snap right off the continent, and suddenly New Mexico is considerably less protected from the terrible sea monsters!

Second note: I do in fact understand that California cannot physically fall off and float away.

Nope, only the naughty bits will fall off. And the sea monsters will get those. This is why I live inland. :smiley:

1) Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
Yes.

2) If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.
I don’t know. I was in Portland when this Olympia quake occured. I was sleeping on the couch. I thought someone was shaking my shoulder, so I peered up in time to see my then-eighteen-month-old goddaughter lose her balance and land on her rear. I was a little spooked and called my mom (a SoCal native) to ask her where the safest place in my apartment layout would be in the event of another tremble. Support beam running between the dining and living rooms was the ultimate decision.

3) Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
No.

4) If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?
They say that this area (eastern Idaho) is due for a ginormous one at some very vague point in the future. No, I do not have a preparedness kit because I think these rumors are overblown. After all, we don’t get just the news, we get Worst Case Scenario News!

5) If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?
I will avoid tornado prone areas. Earthquakes don’t intimidate me, so I would not avoid a location because of potential quakes. I can’t imagine a hurricane bothering me enough to avoid living in a certain area - there’s a reason I pay attention to the weekly weather forecasts.

When we first moved into our house here in Massachusetts, my wife and I awoke to the sound of the bed shaking and wall ornaments rattling. I told her it was an earthquake and she didn’t believe me so we went back to sleep. The next morning, the news reported a 2.3 earthquake centered within a mile of our house. I have never worried about them since although big ones could happen most places.

I grew up in a tornado prone area and they are by far the scariest natural disaster IMHO. Hurricanes are destructive but you know it is coming a day or even a few days in advance. Tornadoes just appear without much warning and they look like a monster dropping down from the sky. I witnessed three growing up and my freshman year of college, one dropped down obliterating my hometown church (that can’t be a good sign). Tornadoes are one of the few things that I can think of that people that have significant experience with them are at least as afraid as newbies.

I experienced four during the nine years I lived in California (in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area). Five, if you count the one I slept through and didn’t notice.

The first one was the one I slept through. I was living in Scotts Valley at the time (1998), and it happened near Hollister. I think it was around a 4 in magnitude. I felt very left out, because the earthquake had been more noticeable in Santa Cruz, and it was the topic of conversation of the day in the astronomy department, and I couldn’t share any interesting experiences with it.

The second one was in spring 2002, when I was living in Livermore. It was a fair distance away (might have been near Hollister again), and I think it was around a 4. It felt like the mechanism that adjusts the height on my desk chair was repeatedly slipping, then catching again. The first sign of it was that the glasses in my wine rack (I have one of those wine racks that have a place at the top to hang glasses) started clinking- ever since then, I have called that wine rack the earthquake detector.

The third was in late 2002, and happened near San Ramon- I think it was around a three. I didn’t know it was an earthquake at the time- the mirrored doors to my closet rattled a little for no apparent reason, and I found out later from news online that there had been a small earthquake. That was one of the “So that was what that was” earthquakes.

The fourth was a 3 or so near Berkeley, in 2007 when I was living in Walnut Creek. It was a sound like a door closing, and it alarmed me a bit because I was alone in the apartment except for the cats, and the cats were with me. Luna didn’t seem to notice it, but Katya woke up from her nap and looked around. I found out later from online news that it had been an earthquake.

The fifth was also in 2007, and was around a 4, but was in Lafayette. It was a sudden jolt that felt like a truck had hit our apartment building. The cats’ tails both got big and puffed up as a result.

I don’t really fear earthquakes any more, having moved to Pittsburgh. I was a bit nervous about a big one happening when I lived in California. We didn’t really have an earthquake preparedness kit when we did live there.

I’m a lot more scared of tornadoes than I ever was of earthquakes. I remember running and hiding in the basement from tornadoes once when I lived in Maryland. I have nightmares about tornadoes sometimes, but never had them about earthquakes. Interestingly enough, the cats were scared by earthquakes, but thunderstorms (they have experienced a couple since we moved to Pittsburgh) don’t seem to faze them.

Our move to Pittsburgh had a lot more to do with housing prices and Mr. Neville’s job than it did with earthquakes or tornadoes.

  1. yes last one was a few weeks ago at like 4 am. woke us up
  2. 4.2 i was sitting on the couch and the end i wasnt on lifts up and then slams back down on the floor. I only moved to san francisco last year and I figured earthquakes would be a fast rattle but its really more like a wave. Like the building is swaying back and forth.
  3. I have nightmares. Reoccuring nightmares. I cant walk under an underpass without thinking "earthquake’ I feel like the bookcases in my apartment are going to be my cause of death.
  4. I dont know what the FUCK I AM SUPPSOED TO DO. someone tell me
  5. Hurricane territory is the one I fear the least. I went to college in New Orleans and went through Isadore Lilly and Ivan. Its a pain in the ass but I’d rather have REALLY bad weather blow through than have the earth open up and eat me in a quake

1) Have you ever experienced an earthquake? When was your most recent experience?

Bunches of times! Hooray for Southern California! :smiley:

Aside from the lil’ bit of shakey I felt this morning, I feel little tremors every few days. Our office is on the second floor and for whatever reason, I can feel every little 1 and 2.0 quake (I always go check on the Geological Survey site to confirm there was a quake).

2) If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.

A year or two ago, there was a 5.9 or something right outside of Bakersfield (like 10 miles out of town). Even though I have 21 years of being taught proper earthquake procedure, I never do it because I’m too dumb to realize it’s an earthquake until it’s over.

In the case of the 5.9, I was on the phone with tech support (they were in Tennesse, I believe) when the office started shaking. I spent the next 20 seconds trying to figure out why the walls were shaking- first I thought maybe someone was walking on the roof, then I realized things were shaking too hard for it to just be someone on the roof. Then I realized the ground was shaking. “Hey, hold on, there’s an earthquake” I told the girl on the phone. She immediately started shrieking, “OMG ARE YOU OK?!?! DO I NEED TO CALL SOMEONE??!!? OMG?~!?!” I told her to just hold on.

I sat there, gawking in amazement as the giant mirror on the wall in the reception area went smashing down to the ground 15 feet in front of me. That’s when I thought to myself, “Oh, shit, I should probably like, duck and cover or something. . . oh, nevermind, it’s over.”

Then I got back on the phone and finished fixing our tax software.
**
3) Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
**

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m pretty scared of a HUGE earthquake- one like I’ve never experienced. Everytime I go deep within a parking garage, I find myself wondering what would happen if there was an earthquake (even though I know they are some of the most stable structures for that reason). Over all though, I think earthquakes are more fun than anything (smaller ones, of course).

4) If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?

No, I really need to fix that.

5) If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?

Hurricanes scare the pants off of me! Why would anyone pick hurricane territory? I mean, sure, I get little tremors here and there living in California, but big quakes are few and far between. If you live in some areas of Florida, you are guaranteed to have your house pummeled by insane winds 5 times a year.

Oh, and last I heard, earthquakes don’t pick up houses and cows and fling them at people.

Yeah, i was in one of the big ones, LA area, 1971. At the time, it was one of the worst ever for the area.

http://www.lafire.com/famous_fires/710209_SylmarEarthquake/020971_LAHerald_KillerQuake.htm

I don’t “fear” natural disasters, I recognise they happen and we can do little but be somewhat prepared. I have a survival kit.

At least with tornados, they can be tracked. The advance warning in places like here in OKC, OK are nothing short of life saving, as evidenced by the May 3rd, 1999 F5 (318mph, 1 mile wide at its deadliest) which still claimed dozens, but news and weather radio and TV possibly saved hundreds.

There is one thing I won’t do because of fear of earthquakes, even now that I’m not living in earthquake country. I have made it very clear to Mr. Neville that no glass-framed pictures are going on the walls above couches or beds in our house- I cringe a bit when I see that in somebody else’s home or on TV.

  1. Yes

  2. I don’t know what the magnitude was…it was in St. Louis, MO…late 1960’s, I think. I was reading a book in my room, my sisters and some friends had taken over the living room (it was a Saturday morning, so Mom and Dad were at work). Stuff started shaking and I figured earthquake and shooed everyone out of the house into the front yard. There was minor damage in the area…broken dishes, a few fallen chimneys, stuff like that. Southern Californians likely would not have noticed it. My parents though it just further confirmed that I was a wierd kid, but that I did the right thing…

  3. They’re just one more hazard in life…(shrug)

  4. No kit per se, but I’m basically ready. There’s emergency water, firewood, propane, chainsaws, tools, canned food, dried food…most important, good neighbors.

  5. We got hit by a tornado a few years ago. Narrowly missed by others since then. I like it here and I’ll deal with the hazards. At least with a tornado, you get up to a half-hour warning.

  1. Have you ever experienced an earthquake? When was your most recent experience?

Yes. In October 1999, Southern Nevada felt the shaking from the Hector Mine earthquake. It was a 7.3 mag at epicenter, but felt as approximately a 4 something here. It was pretty crazy. Nevada has little shakers now and then but most arent noticeable.

  1. If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.

The Hector Mine quake. I was lying in bed, the bedroom window was open. I hear this low rumbling noise then it felt as if someone had grabbed the foot of my bed and started shaking it. Stuff was tinkling around on my shelves. I hopped out of bed and tried to open the bedroom door, it took a few tries. The light hanging in the stairwell was swinging and I was totally psyched. It was my first real earthquake!!

  1. Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?

No. But then again I am a geologist and we tend to get excited by these sorts of things :smiley:

  1. If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?

Like I said Southern Nevada is prone to some shakers and a few of the faults outlying the city have the capability to produce 7.0+ earthquakes, but we don’t worry about it and don’t have a preparedness kit per say. But we have enough camping gear, a water purifier and a decent survivability mode that we would be okay.

  1. If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?

I would take earthquakes any day. I grew up in Nebraska. Husband is from Kansas. We would both rather deal with earthquakes than tornadoes even though both can be really destructive. We could probably handle living in hurricane prone areas. It’s all sort of the same risk you take when you live in these types of areas.

Not to be mean, but don’t get comfortable with this idea. It depends on the type of ground you’re on, the type of earthquake, and what sort of structure you’re in at the time.

The last quake I felt before today was as if the entire house was sitting on type of a gigantic foot massager. Just a really fast, violent vibration. The only reason we knew it was an earthquake is that it simply couldn’t have been anything else.

The one earthquake I recall being in when I was in an office building downtown was fascinating because of the sway factor. I was in a room with no windows at the time, and I suddenly found myself wondering why I was getting dizzy – something I’m not at all prone to. Yep…earthquake.

Also: example of an earthquake preparedness kit.

1) Have you ever experienced an earthquake? When was your most recent experience?
Yes, February this year.

2) If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.
Probably around about the strength of that one: maximum 4.5. I’ve felt tremors going underneath Rotorua, down south in the volcanic plateau, which were like something like a train rumbling under the feet. But in the Auckland one, it was like something had landed heavily on my house’s roof, then started shaking it, slowly. I felt the building move, but nothing was broken.

3) Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
No. They’re rare here in Auckland – we were more concerned about the cost of any damage, and whether it would trigger off the volcanic field we’re sitting on.

4) If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?
No. I’m a slackarse at that kind of thing.

5) If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?
I’d prefer to be right where I am. As I said, big earthquakes aren’t that common here, despite the fact that NZ is split by the ol’ Ring of Fire. We get tornadoes and cyclones in this country – I prefer the rare to the more common, every time.

I’ve felt both types. I think it has to do with the earthquake itself (some of them last longer than others) and how far you are from the epicenter (different types of earthquake waves travel at different speeds in the ground).

Here’s a booklet I’ve heard about.

As for the bookcases, you can get straps to hold them to the walls. You can order them online, or someone at a local hardware store would probably know where to get them if they didn’t sell them.

That doesn’t happen in real earthquakes, only in movie earthquakes, and even then only to major evil characters. If you find yourself in a movie earthquake, you should climb the nearest cell phone tower- we learned from 10.5 Apocalypse that there will still be cell phone service in Southern California, even after a 10.5 magnitude earthquake.

  1. Have you ever experienced an earthquake? When was your most recent experience?
    Once that I know of. I don’t remember when it was exactly, but around six or seven years ago.

  2. If so, what’s the largest magnitude quake you’ve ever felt? Describe your experience.
    I don’t know. I thought it was a low-flying plane or a really big truck passing by. I only learned it was an earthquake the next day.

  3. Regardless of whether you’ve experienced one or not, do you fear earthquakes?
    Not at all. Now, if I lived somewhere like California, perhaps.

  4. If you live in earthquake territory, do you have a preparedness kit?
    No and no. The only stuff I tend to keep on hand is stuff for when the power’s out or I’m snowed in (which itself has only happened once, but those five days were quite enough, thank you).

  5. If you have a choice between living in an earthquake-prone area or a tornado or hurricane prone area, which would you choose/avoid, and why?
    I’ll take hurricane. They’re just rain by the time they get here anyway. If you mean I have to choose somewhere that gets severe earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes, I still pick hurricane. At least you get advanced warning to either batten down or run away.