As if things weren’t already crazy enough in Washington…
Just what we need to shake things up: an earthquake! Which did, indeed, shake us up, here in the nation’s capitol, early yesterday afternoon.
Now, coming from California, I’ve been through probably a dozen earthquakes, a couple much, much more damaging than this one. But this was still a serious jolt.
It was loud – like a big truck rumbling through the coffee shop I was in. It lasted a good 30 seconds. It sent light fixtures and furniture swaying. And it emptied every building in downtown Washington, sending tens of thousands of frightened people out into the streets.
Fortunately, there was no loss of life, and very little structural damage. Most people reported what happened in our house: pictures on the wall knocked crooked and some objects – in my case, about 100 books – falling off shelves.
But two things about the whole experience struck me. One, how you never know anymore when or where a natural disaster might strike. Nobody expects earthquake on the East Coast.
Two, how woefully unprepared we are for a natural emergency. This time, we escaped relatively unscathed. Next time, who knows?
That’s my parting shot for today.