Quake a Memorable Experience for Florida Transplant

FIRST PERSON | ALEXANDRIA, Va. — At 35 weeks pregnant, I am required to consume half my body weight in water daily to stave off dehydration. At approximately 2:20 p.m., I went downstairs to grab another glass when suddenly everything began to shake.

Initially, it felt as though a freight train was passing right by the house. Being a native Floridian, I had never experienced an earthquake. A little dumbstruck, I opened the front door to see if there was something going on outside of our building that might be causing it to shake. At that point, the shaking intensified and my husband shut the front door, positioned us both in the door frame, and informed me that it was an earthquake. It didn’t last too long, maybe two minutes tops, but it was enough to get this girl’s heart racing!

Following the earthquake, my husband explained that we would likely experience an aftershock and instructed me to always take cover in a door frame because it’s the safest place to be if objects begin falling. He also explained that it’s wise to stay away from windows or glass because it might shatter. Once my shock wore off, I did the first thing any reasonable person would do — I ran straight to the computer to report the earthquake on my Facebook and Twitter!

After checking on friends and family, in addition to scanning my Facebook responses, it appeared that this earthquake spanned quite a few states, originating in Mineral, Va., and reaching as far north as New York. I heard reports of others feeling it in D.C., North Carolina, Maryland, and New York. I later learned that it registered a 5.9 on the Richter scale. Although there were small aftershocks reported on the news, we have yet to experience any here.

Because I was quite shaken up, I also researched safety tips for future reference. As my husband said, it is always safest to find cover under something, preferably a door frame. Always steer clear of windows and glass. Also, if you’re outdoors when a quake hits, try to find an open area free of trees and buildings.

Having only lived in Virginia for a couple of months, this was definitely a memorable experience. As one of my friends said when I checked in on her after the quake, “I love it when the earth moves just for me!”

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