So, how about that earthquake?
Living in Maryland most of my life, I’ve only experienced one earthquake which was just a little shake when I was in high school. No big deal.
Yesterday’s earthquake was rated at a 5.9 and was the most shaking we’ve felt in the East in over 100 years. It’s also less than a month away from the 10 year anniversary of September 11th, so people were totally freaking out.
I was totally freaking out.
I was sitting at my desk and at first I thought that someone was walking very heavily down the hallway. When it continued and got stronger, I then thought that they were doing construction on our building. About 20 seconds into it I came to the conclusion that it was either an earthquake or a bomb had gone off. I grabbed up my purse and cellphone and walked quickly out to our front reception area where there was a report on the TV. After finding out it was in fact an earthquake, I went outside to wait with a bunch of coworkers until we felt it was safe go to back in the building.
My hands were shaking and my heart was going a mile a minute. Logically I knew that it was just a little earthquake and nobody was even injured (that I heard about), but my mind went straight back to September 11.
On the morning of 9/11 I was working at NSA. I was on the phone with my mom the moment that the first plane hit the twin towers. She was watching it on TV and told me about it. As soon as I got off the phone with her, we found out that there was intelligence suggesting that one of the planes may be heading to the NSA. They evacuated all non-essential personnel in our building and as we were quickly walking out of the building, military in full uniform were running in.
It was literally one of the scariest moments of my life and yesterday’s earthquake gave me that same shot of fear in my body.
In this day of technology, it’s ironic that just as on 9/11 the cell towers were immediately overwhelmed due to people calling and texting their loved ones. It took me 50 minutes to get a text out from my phone and hear back that my husband was okay. Over an hour later I still wasn’t able to make any calls from my cellphone and when I used my landline I kept getting a busy signal. Rather than being a fun distraction or a marketing tool, I saw a real value in Facebook since I was able to check status updates and see that my family was fine.
This was just a little earthquake.
But it still scared the crap out of me.