At 4:37 am this morning, an earthquake measuring 5.2 (barely perceptible tremors) on the Richter scale shook the walls of my condo. 14 hours later, against all odds, I’m still alive.
I am a survivor. This is my story.
Caroline and I (sleeping in separate beds, divided by an impenetrable wall of Catholic doctrine) woke up at the same time early this morning.
“What’s happening?” Caroline asked.
I heard something rumbling in the air duct next to my bed. All I could feel was pressure on the outer wall of my building, as if someone was pushing against it.
“It’s just the wind,” I said.
Caroline wasn’t so sure, so I got out of bed and looked outside. There was no wind, and nothing seemed amiss. So I went to the bathroom, laid down in bed, petted my kitten, who was busy suckling on the sheets (he does that when he misses his cat mother), and went back to sleep. Caroline was already slumbering.
Against all odds, I survived an earthquake of 5.2 magnitude. And so can you. Here’s how:
Don’t panic. While I was urinating and nodding off, most people in St. Louis were outside rioting. Natural disasters often cause people to resort to their survival instincts, which mainly include running out of their homes and smashing car windows. I briefly considered doing this, but then I thought, “I’d rather just go back to sleep.”
Be prepared. Many people don’t survive unsurvivable natural disasters like today’s earthquake because they aren’t prepared. Stock up on water and canned goods, especially tuna if you have cats (you can eat the cats after you fatten them with the tuna). I wouldn’t have survived today’s earthquake if I didn’t have a 14-month supply of food in my kitchen and two portable generators in Caroline’s closet.
Stop, Drop, and Roll. When the bells of disaster toll, play it safe and stop, drop, and roll. That’s my motto. And that’s why Caroline looked up from the covers this morning to see me somersaulting all over the floor. (Note: If you don’t have enough room to roll, go with the head-tucked-into-knees position good for tornado warnings, nuclear fallouts, and alien attacks.)
If you follow those three simple guidelines, you’ll be sure to survive an earthquake of 5.2 magnitude. If not, you don’t stand a chance.
(Note: It’s common knowledge among my ex-coworkers that if I appeared on the TV show “Survivor,” not only would I be the first one voted out, but I probably wouldn’t survive the first day. While the other contestants would be building shelter and looking for water, I’d be laying comatose on the beach with a debilitating migraine. Within hours, the other survivors would set my shriveled carcass afloat on the ocean like a Viking funeral pyre.
Basically, I’m the least likely to survive anything.)