Friday, August 26, 2011

Your Turn

Today I would love to hear your natural disaster stories. If you have been in one, escaped from one, whatever it might be. If you have not been in one, which of these would scare you more? Oh, and for the sake of argument, lets us just say the strongest on record for any of them.


Earthquake
Tornado
Hurricane
Flood
Seeing Paris Hilton without makeup


85 comments:

Vicki Cupper said...

Hmmm....

I was in a small earthquake in Korea.

I was in the small earthquake on Tuesday.

I'm hoping I don't get killed by Irene.

I just had a thought. All us Boston readers should get together soon or something. Kind of like a tweetup but not lame.

rtsew said...

Blizzard of '93 - Yee haw

Jhughes said...

I was camping on the Toutle River when Mt. St. Helens blew up, was trapped for a week at the campground after being "ashed" in.

Ida Blankenship said...

I was in fucking MAINE for the Blizzard (Nor'eastah) of '93. Snowdrifts fifteen feet high? A lack of power for a week? Temperatures that never reached 10 degrees? Snowplows that weren't able to get to my neighborhood, so we had to dig ourSELVES out?

Yeah. Give me a 5.9 earthquake over *that* ANYDAY. Still the worst snowstorm I've ever experienced, and I hope I never, ever see another one like it.

Patty said...

I was in a pedicure chair when my city's tornado siren went off. It wasn't the weekly test on Saturday either. We all huddled together in a center room. Nothing happened by us, and there was no official word of one, but there were many pictures from neigboring cities of what looked like tornados. It was a scary storm.

And yes, I finished the pedi after the chaos was over.

Anney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rtsew said...

Not to make light of the hurricane of course. I'm in TN and we may get wind and rain, nothing as serious as up North.

Ms Cool said...

My mom and I left a mall after a day of shopping to see the streets empty. We were clueless until we saw a tornado drift by!

We are very fortunate to have never been rocked by any of the tornados that come through. We've been through plenty of blizzards and flooding but never been seriously put out. Very lucky!

B. Profane said...

I've seen Madonna with makeup on from close up. Ew.

Heather Lillywhite said...

Hurricane Iwa back in the '80s. It was my mom's birthday. We huddled in the center hallway and ate balogna and cheese sandwiches by candlelight as we could hear the storm knocking down palm fronds all around the house. Creepy and fun at the same time.

FS said...

I've lived in California for most of my life, the majority of those years in So Cal, so I've probably felt just about every major earthquake we've had since the late 70's. The most memorable was being thrown out of bed at 4:30 am in the Northridge/Santa Monica quake in 1994. We were lucky, we only lost power for about 12 hours. In fact, even in the worst storm I had to deal with in NorCal, I've never been without power for more than 48 hours (and in that one, half the city did have power so I just found a restaurant with wireless).

I've been very lucky, never really been affected by bad weather. I feel for everyone who has ever made it through a blizzard, a tornado, a hurricane, or floods. I'm not that strong, I don't think I could do it. Stay as safe as you can East Coasters.

Em Cue Em said...

I've only heard this story and seen lots of pictures of the aftermath, but it goes something like this: I was about a year old, my brother was 3. My dad was at home with us and my mom was at work. Tornado came through with NO warning. So my dad grabs me and my brother (who was holding his Glow Worm), literally throws us in a closet (I ended up with a split lip), then after grabbing a mattress and placing it against the door he joined us. We were in the closet for over an hour, and my dad was only able to calm us down because we could see by the light of my brother's Glow Worm. The pictures of the aftermath are incredible. Our NEXT DOOR neighbor's entire second floor was detached from the house and landed down the street. Our house was almost gutted in places, and almost every window in the house were shattered, including in the living room where my brother and I were playing when the storm hit. My dad was a hero that day.

Mooshki said...

Never experienced a big natural disaster, but Ida's story reminded me of watching 'The Day After Tomorrow' when they said most of North America was covered in piles of snow and had temperatures of 30 below zero, and our reaction here in Minnesnowda was "yeah, and?"

Maja. With a J. said...

Never experienced any major natural disasters, I've always lived in places that just don't get it that bad. We had a funnel cloud touch down in south Calgary a few weeks ago, it was quite exciting! I didn't see it though, it was just a particularly windy day in my neighbourhood *L*. We do get some apocalyptic storms around here but they always blow through quickly and it's not like they leave Katrina kind of damage. But the dent clinics here make good money off of hail damage!

I did feel a couple of earthquakes while living in San Francisco. The first one only a few months after moving there (this would have been , I was jsut about to fall asleep when the building started to rock back and forth. I just kind of lay there...I couldn't remember what I was supposed to do! *L* Doorframe? Under the table? WHAT??? So I just lay there waiting for it to stop or get worse...it stopped after maybe 20-25 seconds. Soem cara alarms went off, people woke up...but the Californians I knew didn't even notice!

All natural disasters scare me equally. But what I dread the most is, obviously, the inevitable zombie apocalypse!

Dijea said...

I've been in two hurricanes.

Celia - Corpus Christi, TX 1970
Allen - Corpus Christi, TX 1980

Maja. With a J. said...

Wow - I stopped somewhere in the middle of typing that and did something else, and then resumed without reading it...*LOL*

B. Profane said...

In Cali, if it's quiet at night and you have the windows open, you can actually hear the ground shake traveling at you from a temblor before it hits.

Feisty said...

I've evacuated probably 4 times for hurricanes, nothing ever hit. My parents lived in OKC the first few years of marriage in a trailer park. They spent a lot of time in the park's shelter when the sirens went off. My mom said the biggest thing is that the sky turns a weird bottle green color when a tornado is coming.

@Dijea - I'm from Corpus! I get unreasonably excited when I see someone else :)

Terri said...

earthquakes scare me the most. There is no forwarding. I've been through Hurricanes and 4 months ago the tornadoes in Alabama. You can somewhat prepare for those.

FS said...

Yes, B.Profane, that is true! I've heard more than one earthquake before I felt it, but people who've never been in that situation don't believe me. I woke about 3 seconds before Northridge hit, it was the oddest feeling, then I heard it, then bam, I was rolling off my bed. Such a strange experience that day.

Daveb said...

Marriage, after all it contains all the elements of quakes, tornados, hurricanes and floods.

iheartjacksparrow said...

Like FS, my worst experience was the Northridge earthquake. Sound asleep, literally tossed out of bed, and then the whole place felt like it was being picked up and slammed to the ground over and over. The next worst would be the Whittier Narrows quake. At work, the office is shaking like crazy, and I yelled to my boss, "Save the fish!" (she had an aquarium in her office). She yells back, "(bleep) the Fish!."

Miranda said...

Living on the west coast of Canada, I've experienced many, many earthquakes, so I have to laugh at the east freaking out about such a small quake.

Most notable earthquake experience: I was having sex with the boyfriend of the time and the bookshelf started shaking. We stopped what we were doing, realized everything was still shaking anyway, looked at each other and said "earthquake?" Then shrugged, and went back to thrusting.

B. Profane said...

Any of you in the Seattle area, you need to do 'quake preparedness just like we do in Cali. It's still not sinking in up there that you're on a deadline for a Big One just like we are. A relative is a transit planner for the city and they know it's going to be Very Bad when the inevitable 7-8+ temblor hits.

Scando Queen said...

I was in Loma Prieta when I was 3... It wasn't very scary to me. I was trying to find a snack when the house started shaking. My mom was more worried about the chandeliers swinging and hitting the wall, then the damage to the foundation. Everything turned out fine.

In 1994, we were in Disneyland when the Northridge earthquake stuck... I guess I have great luck with Earthquakes.

Tornado's scare the crap out of me. I mean they are just crazy and you have an entire season of them!

Jesse D said...

Flooded out in LA in May of '95, chest-high water in my house. Hurricane Georges in MS in 98', without power for three weeks with a 6 month old baby. Hurricane Katrina by proxy (lost contact with parents/sister for three days, total devastation of their houses) in 2005. April 11' in East TN two twisters in my front yard / softball size hail ruined all windows in house/car. Every five years or so, I participate in a natural disaster LOL

Lelaina Pierce said...

Nothing major for me. I missed Hurricane Hugo (SC) b/c we in Jersey at the time. When I was in elem school in Jersey, we had to evacuate to my school b/c of a either a tornado or hurricane. Asheville had a huge flood the year I moved through that did a lot of damage but not near our apt. So...to answer the question NOTHING like the other posters!

What would scare me more? Probably earthquake since I've never been through one.

Lelaina Pierce said...

*should be "we WERE in Jersey..." sorry.

girltrav said...

I was on the first island in the bahamas when Hurricane Andrew hit. I'm from SoCal so when the roof flew off the house with my parents still in it-I was freaked. After they escaped, we spent the night in the bathtub...waiting for the noise to stop. Such horrible noise. We had to charter a helicopter off the island and landed in Miami two days after it there, that was when I swore I would never return to Florida.
I was also in the Northridge quake, on my way to work, I was about 5 minutes from the spot where the freeway collapsed and the CHP officer flew off the broken bridge and died. Ever felt like all 4 tires blew at the same time? Thats what it feels like-if you are driving.
I was in a small hurricane in Colombia Missouri when the basement flooded cause I didn't know how to turn on the pump-I guess in the basement there is a pump that keeps water out of the yard and such???? Also, the house next door was ripped from it's foundation.
So yeah, I've had my share of disasters. This weekend I'm taking after a friend and turning everything off. No phone, no computer-just me time.
And yes, I've seen Paris without make-up, she had quite an acne issue.

Ida Blankenship said...

@Mooshki -- I know, I know, I know. All the Canadians are probably cracking up at my "blizzard" experience too, probably. ;-) But...but...you're USED to it!!

Going without power for sooooooooo long was what REALLY brought home the sucky factor for me, but I can put things in perspective: there's Katrina...and then there's everything else.

B. Profane brought up a good point about Seattle -- and I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but NYC has been due for a mega-earthquake for over one-hundred years. I read an article about it in Wired magazine a few years ago that literally gave me nightmares, and I'm hardly a native of Manhattan.

Yeah. I'll just sit right here in Bumwad, VA and wait for the next flood/hurricane/tornado or freakquake, I guess.

Ida Blankenship said...

@girltrav -- "I was about 5 minutes from the spot where the freeway collapsed and the CHP officer flew off the broken bridge and died. Ever felt like all 4 tires blew at the same time? Thats what it feels like-if you are driving."

AAAAAGGGGH! That is TERRIFYING!!! :-(

girltrav said...

Sorry-tornado in Missouri-not Hurricane. Oh! Jesse D, I was also in the "flood" of LA in 95'. I remember I had a Ford Festiva and drove down Santa Monica Blvd. with the water up to the windows! We survived though.

I was also in the LA Riots, and the horrible fires that hit San Diego a few years back-I even put the photo albums in the car and video taped my mom's property before abandoning it. I remember the sky being orange and black for days...

Suddenly not feeling very lucky....

feraltart said...

When I was 7, my 5 year old brother and myself were staying at my grandparents house in Port Stephens Australia. We woke up to discover that the stilt house we were in was almost totally destroyed by hurricane strength winds, only our Uncle's bedroom was still standing (he was developmentally disabled, I truly believe he was being looked after). We had to get rescued by ladder the next morning, and I am scared of heights. I still hate wind and I am 42.
I am so impressed with everyone who deals with severe weather on a constant basis, I don't know how you do it.

Cindy said...

I lived in LA for 7 years in the 80's and 90's so I got a few strong Earthquakes to experience. (what do they call earthquakes on other planets?)

I was raised in Texas -- got to experience my share of tornados and some hellacious dust storms

Ida -- I was in Vermont for the 93 blizzard -- NEVER F*CKING AGAIN

And I lived in FL for a while -- only got tropical storms, but now that I am in NJ I will experience my first real hurricane and flood.

I drove through the Midwest about 3 months after the flood of 92? (I think) and I have never seen such devastation -- I cried it was so heartbreaking.

Never had the pleasure (?) of seeing PH au natural -- but Lord have mercy KK looks nasty in that honeymoon pic.

Caroline said...

Hurricane Bob- my family was vacationing on Cape Cod with friends. I was like 6 or 7 and at 2 in the morning my parents decided to evacuate. The family friends decided to stay and wait it out. The next day there were huge trees down all over the road and they were stuck for days with no power, little to eat, and a 3 year old. They later told us about waiting up to 6 hours for a table at the one restaurant in town that had a generator- FUN.

Kauai said...

When I was 24 I was right next to a landside (I mean right next to)that killed 4 people and I had to move out of my house for three weeks afterwards. It rained 18 inches in 24 hours. Horrific! When I was 32 I was in the Loma Prieta earthquake about 10 miles from the epicenter. That was the scariest thing in my life. I thought I was going to die. Luckily the house I was in was built very well.

califblondy said...

The only thing worse than driving during a quake is being outside. To hear it coming at me and then not being able to stand because the ground under my feet was so unstable is something I don't want to feel again any time soon. Here in SoCal we have really given the east coast folks crap for their little quake, but it must have been horrible for people who aren't used to it. The San Diego and San Bernardino fires were horrible, the smoke, ash, and colors in the sky were something I'll never forget. Almost like the aftermath of a bomb.

Momster said...

My house was hit by lightning in 1997, when we were living N of Houston in The Woodlands, TX. It caused a gas leak from our drier and blew everything electric including our phones. A tree branch fell off of the tree that was hit and caused a huge hole in our roof.

The noise it made was unbelievable, and the house filled with the whitest purest light you've ever seen. Our next door elderly neighbor was taking a nap, and woke up to the light and her radio came on to a Christian music station, and she thought she was in Heaven, lol.

The fire department came and shut off the gas leak, cut the wires to our alarm system (it couldn't be shut off manually), put up industrial fans to blow the gas out of the house, and played with the dog, lol.

A close second was running from Hurricane Rita with the six million others, not being able to find gas or water, and it being 114 degrees. It took 12 hours to reach the DFW area (normally about 4-5 hours). The kids were out of school for a week, and we didn't even get a drop of rain.

Elaine said...

Hurricane Andrew August 24, 1992. We were without power until Halloween and we got our phone service back the second week of November. We had a generator to run the refrigerator and water pump, so we were able to take showers. I had just graduated from high school that June and started college in October. I had air conditioning at school and at work. I spent a lot of time at school and a lot of time at work.

girltrav said...

Ida, Yes, so terrifying when you are miles from home and you don't know what to do-nevermind the fact that it is 4:30 in the morning! I drove home to Hollywood at about 25 MPH-to what was left of my apartment.
Califblondy, yes the earthquakes are terrible because of the aftershocks-and never knowing when they'll hit. I have a giant duffle bag filled with stuff-just in case.
Oh I had not mentioned the ash...raining ash for days, breathing outside was impossible-so you just sat in front of the TV and prayed the fire wouldn't "jump" to your neighborhood. All of my family was out of state and couldn't believe the devastation when they returned.
Wow I hadn't realized how many disasters I've been in!

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

I lost my virginity the night before Hurricane Gloria hit Boston, and that turned out to be a bigger disaster than the hurricane was. Does that count?

Been through the usual blizzards & such in upstate NH & MA; went through the Blizzard of '93 in Athens, GA, which turned out to not be so bad; have gone through several earthquakes, with the one Tuesday probably being the strongest. Now debating whether I should get sandbags for my "garden apartment", and if so, which of my friends w/wheels should I hit up...

pandapig said...

I was 8yrs old and by myself in a classroom after school when the '89 earthquake hit in San Francisco. I noticed the lights swaying then dove under the big teacher's desk and stayed there until somebody came by. Everybody gathered outside and desperately waited for their parents to pick them up. Once my mom came, she recounted that glass had been shattering from high-rise buildings downtown as she was walking down the street. All in all, a pretty scary day...

nancer said...

F5 tornado in topeka kansas, 1966. i was 17. saw it from about 1/2 mile away. it was massive. we went into the underground room we used for storms and i could feel the air being sucked out from under the door and my ears were popping. i still have dreams about it. also been through 2 hurricanes. the tornado scares me more. it's sudden, no warning. at least with a hurricane, you can prepare.

angie said...

the closet I've come to a natural disaster was the 1971 Sylmar earthquake in California...I lived in Hermosa Beach at the time...I was only 5 and slept right through it, but my parents told me it was a biggie.

Now that I live in the midwest, I just "hear" tornado sirens...I hope I never have to actually live through a tornado like my neighbors to the south in Joplin.

B. Profane said...

@Ida -- I remember an article in Newsday predicting that Brooklyn will literally burn to the ground when the Big One hits there because all the old gas lines will break. And Manhattan will be an apocalyptic hell of thirsty, desperate people because it's one giant fresh water viaduct will be wiped out.

Which reminds me, the worst "natural" disaster I've experienced was living in Flatbush at the height of the late 80's crack epidemic. People getting capped in the street, profs & students coming into class beaten bloody on the subway. I bailed on the second MFA and GTF out of there.

And yet I still miss living in New York. Go figure.

B. Profane said...

...And aren't we a cheery bunch today. Nice question, Enty!

Syko said...

So many years alive, so many natural disasters. Growing up in the midwest we had tornadoes, blizzards and floods. Experienced a small earthquake in St. Louis years ago, I was driving my VW bug and thought nothing of an extra bump or two, but went into a supermarket and all the stock was on the floors. Also felt the ground tremble a few times while living in Oregon in 2004-2006 when Mt. St. Helens was spewing a little steam and acting like she might want a party. Twenty years on the beach in Florida, hurricanes are just an excuse for some new scented candles and a few new paperbacks. I've only had to evacuate once, and spent three days in a hotel feeling sorry for myself because every restaurant in town closed and I had to survive on the hotel's bagel, muffin, banana and cereal breakfasts for a couple of days. I've seen enough of all the disasters to be familiar with them, yet never experienced a really bad one of any of them. I also have never experienced Paris Hilton without makeup. Status quo is fine with me.

Goober said...

I lived alone in a guest house that was within a few miles from the epicenter of the Northridge quake (which was actually in Reseda). There was no moon that night so it was very dark. Drawers and doors that were closed popped open and open doors slammed shut. The water heater broke away from the wall so there was the sound of running water in the dark. I couldn't find my glasses or contacts or even any shoes. Within a split second I went from "oh, an earthquake" to "I oculd die today." The weirdest thing was that kitchen drawers were shut, but full of broken glass. Got cut up reaching for a flashlight. It was beyond scary - I'll never forget.

RocketQueen said...

Agree with B. Profane that all of us on the west coast need to be prepared for that inevitable, massive trembler. I and mine already have kits prepared and canned foods, I would also say one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received for preparation is to fill your bathtub to the brim with fresh water as soon as you can. Chances are, you'll need that water in the coming days.

As for snow, yeah. I grew up near the border of Alaska in BC, a shitload of snow in a short period was never no 'thang, and school was NEVER cancelled. You started shoveling the drive, and by the time you finished, you had to start all over again. It always kind of chuckle when the large city I live in now shuts everything down with an inch of snow.

onetwothree said...

I grew up in the Boston area and still remember the blizzard of '78. I was 10 and thought it was great, but my parents remember it as hell. We had the whole month of February off of school. I remember people dying because they were trapped in their cards on the highway. It was weeks before the roads were clear. I was in western MA for the 93 blizzard and that one was bad too.

Moved to Seattle in 2000 and had been here about 6 months when a 6.8 quake hit. I was at the vet with my cat and was standing at the counter waiting for my bill when I heard a huge boom and fell forward into the counter. I thought a truck had struck the building. Then the rolling and shaking started. It felt like being on a boat. We all stood in the doorways because one of the techs was from CA and told us to get under something. Panels of the drop ceiling came down along with a couple of flourescent lights. It lasted about 45 sec but it seemed like forever. I could see out the window into the parking lot and still remember the floor and asphalt just rolling up and down like waves in the ocean.

My husband thinks I'm crazy because I refuse to drive on the Alaska way viaduct in Seattle. But that thing looks like a strong wind could take it down never mind another quake... and like others have said we are due for a big one someday!

B. Profane said...

@RQ -- If you're referring to the 2008 "blizzard" in Seattle, I can tell you for a fact it wasn't the fault of professional city staff that the city shut down.

B. Profane said...

@onetwothree -- I was going to mention the Alaska Way Viaduct. Yes, the main reason they're replacing it is that it's going to come down when the Big One hits.

BTW, do you need a stop sign on your block? If you're inside city limits I can get you a stop sign. Just don't ask for a stoplight.

Goodgrief said...

The threat of a huge snowstorm had been in the news for about 3 days. The day of the expected snowstorm, which now included blizzard warnings, I had to go into work. I was there about 2 hrs and they decided to close the office and send everyone home. What normally took me 1/2 to get home, took me 12hours. Massive traffic jam of stuck and wrecked vehicles. No one was going anywhere until they finally started digging people out and clearing the roads. I was never so happy to see my driveway.

I think it would be scarry to be in a big tsunami.

Hope everyone on the east coast is stays safe. You guys are in my thoughts this weekend.

ardleigh said...

Blizzard, 60 mph windsheers, twisted my 80-100ft pine uopn my house. Tree landed right over the "spare" bedroom where my brother was staying with me because he had broken his arm/shoulder in multiple places. First thought "Damn a tree landed on my house. 2nd --"You have possibly killed your brother by doing a good deed and not letting him stay alone in his home." I burst into the spare bed room to find the pine had missed him by a foot. He was still asleep because they gave him such good pain meds.

Hope everyone will be safe this weekend. Storm will be missing my part of Pennsylvania. Thank God.

Janet296 said...

Hurricane Katrina.
I lived in New Orleans. I remember that Saturday before it hit, I went to work. At that time, I thought that it was a Cat 1 heading to Florida. I went to work Saturday and was told that it was now a Cat 5 headed our way. I started to worry. It had changed direction and strength overnight. My job wasn't releasing anyone to prepare ( I worked for the government). They had planned on releasing us to evacuate Sunday at 10 pm. That was way too late!! My husband said to screw them we were leaving. The closes place we could find with a room was Dallas. Two weeks later we came back to hell on earth. There was water, debris, and the smell of rotting food everywhere. There were no gas station, hospitals or grocery stores opened. It stayed that way for weeks. You had to drive two parishes over to find things opened. When you got there, the shelves were empty. Around town, there were sided of high rise buildings with every window blown out. You could drive through neighborhoods and see cars sitting on the roof of houses. Also, houses sitting on cars. In the lower ninth ward, they had an entire neighborhood that had nothing left but the slabs. I was shocked! Everything was gone. My town felt like a war zone. There were military helicopters, planes and hummvs everywhere. The soldiers all had their M-16s on them. I was glad they were there, but it felt spooky.

RenoBlondee said...

Floyd and then Fran right after. We weren't able to leave our house for flooding for weeks. No running water, no power for weeks. The other side of our street right up to our ditch was completely under water and my parents lived right across the street, so they lost most everything and had to live with us till they rebuilt. It was awful for so many around here. We were very lucky the flooding *just* missed our house though.

Not looking forward to Irene!

Tempestuous Grape said...

I've lived through all the Earthquakes in LA 1972-Present. I was on the epicenter for the Northridge quake. Other than that, there was the time I drove from NY to CA in my 20's and we hit a massive hale storm in Ohio. Not many natch disast's in my lifetime (thus far).

FS said...

Somehow I had forgotten about all the fires I've seen in California, probably because none of them have directly affected me. The Malibu fire in late 93 (just before the Northridge quake in early 94) rained a lot of ash on my house at the time, near Venice HS. That fire led to horrible flooding a month later when the hills got their first taste of rain, that was a mess. I was in San Bernardino when the Old fire and Grand Prix fire were burning, and then I think San Diego started right after that. There was actually disaster fatigue, people couldn't talk about it or hear about it after the first week, everyone was just overwhelmed as the losses continued to pile up.

There was a fire in my current area about a year before I moved down here, so now I get really paranoid every time I hear a helicopter between April and November or smell a neighbors barbeque. I think that might be my worst fear, losing everything in a fire, or evacuating for a fire and forgetting one very important thing. Most of my stuff is junk, and I have a CRV to fill up, but I'm sure I would panic and leave behind the most important family heirloom or something.

Green Tara said...
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ZuzuK said...

I'm in the Seattle area here too. I second the thought of avoiding the Alaskan Way Viaduct, but I have big doubts about my safety in the proposed tunnel too, in case if an earthquake.
Shortly after I moved to the area, I experienced my first earthquake (a 5.2, I think), and I found out that we were living practically on the fault that goes out to Issaquah. That definitely made me worry a bit. Now I have some emergency kits set up for the house and cars.
Other disasters: I've been in 4 or 5 hurricanes, several earthquakes, a number of blizzards (NE style as well as our version out here in WA). The most frightened I've ever been, though, was when an earthquake in South America triggered a tsunami that headed for Hawaii. We were on vacation there at the time. It didn't amount to much, but the anxiety of waiting for it to arrive coupled with all too vivid images of the huge tsunami a few years before made me feel my life was in true danger.

redronnie said...

Wow, amazing stories. I live in Manitoba, so I've got nothing, nada, blowing snow and a blizzard or two - minus 50 celius - but nothing compared to the stories listed here.

MichiGal said...

I was in the Whittier earthquake in 1987 - it hit very early in the morning and I just just stepping into the shower so I was wearing very little. We all ran outside the fancy apartment complex we were living in Studio City. I ended up doing shots poolside with the guys from Poison who also lived in the building. Anything to calm the nerves...!

canthia said...

Irene will be my 11th hurricane.

Astrid said...

I still lived in Seattle for the 6.8 earthquake. It was on ash Wednesday. I live in the mid-west now and had to be in the basement for about an hour this spring because of a tornado.

SolitaryAngel said...

I was in Hurricane Katrina too--but living in Biloxi MS 3 miles from the water. We weren't able to evacuate in time, but my son and I rode out the storm in a friend's brick house. It was the most horrible thing; I remember we were all in the hallway under mattresses and the wind was literally screaming. Looking up through the attic vent in the hallway, seeing flashes of light as the roof tiles were ripped loose, wondering what would go next. So many power lines down, we couldn't get back to our place until almost 2 weeks after the storm and our place was ruined. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for our friends letting us crash with them. I remember during the time the eye was passing over, people were venturing outside to see the damage and call out to each other that we were safe, and these drunk idiots across the street starting hitting golf balls! Like it was a big joke. Sitting there watching the eyewall coming back, knowing the worst was still to come and wondering if we would still be alive to see the end of the day was something I don't want to experience again. Most people don't realize that Biloxi was hit so much worse than New Orleans because NOLA got all the coverage. We left there a couple weeks after the storm because there was no way to make a living there anymore--the town was destroyed. We have never been back and never will go back.

Sometimes I still have nightmares about it, mostly I hear the screaming of the wind and just feel terror. I really feel for those about to experience Irene.

Endora said...

8.8 eartquake in Chile, alone, wearing pink polar fleece pjs. Scariest moment in my life, remember hearing the earth's roar and the people screeming. Was very quiet in fetal position, my mind racing, wanted to scream but couldn't and then I thought: "This is not the time to be self conscious, just scream woman, everyone else is doing it!" Screamed for my mom, then it was over, blanked out for about 10 seconds, cried for 5 seconds and then went on comando mode.

DixieTheNoble82 said...

Lessee...

1) Some crazy hurricane, South Fl 1985?

2) 1989 Huntsville AL tornado

3) 2010 Snowpocolypse (MD)

4) 2011 Norfolk VA Earthquake

5) 2011 Norfolk VA Irene??

Scariest so far was the '89 tornado.

DixieTheNoble82 said...

Oh yeah - these swap fires also.

Rickatoo said...

driving home from work last fall amid tornados in NYC

Rickatoo said...

and the it's a small world ride at the world's fair in '64

HannahPalindrome said...

Earthquake-NYC-Wall Street

I was sitting at my desk listening to my IPOD, and a woman came in telling us we had to leave the building.

I didn't feel a thing, but I ran down those stairs.

After 9/11, I wasn't going to take my time.

Hurricane tomorrow night.
I'm not worried, but I wonder if a tornado is next?!

old ;ady said...

I lived in Cal. for some high school and college and got to live thru earthquakes. I live in Michigan and in 2010 we had a tornado go right by our house. 145 mph winds, at 2:30 am. All I could think about was my granddaughter, 10 months old in the next bedroom. She slept thru it. Telephone poles were falling, trees falling houses blowing apart, the wind so strong and loud you couldn't talk or think. We are a very close neighborhood and after we all checked on each other. Power lines all down, trees on houses cars other trees. Every house in my neighborhood was severely damaged, but mine. My husband had died one year before and I didn't even lose my hanging flowers. No power for a week in the summer with a baby. If only I had been smart enough to realize that the dogs were acting strange all that day, they wouldn't leave the baby alone. They actually leaned on her and at bedtime they all came in my room and kept crying and trying to get on the bed. When the tornado hit they surrounded the baby. I also have been thru numerous blizzards. In 1977 it was -55, and it was only 6 miles to work, we tried to leave at 6 pm. (4 hrs. early) had to back up 1 1/2 miles in my own tracks. Tried 3 different ways to go to work, but the snow was over the hood of my Van. We got close to 40 inches. A normal snow was 22 inches on Christmas eve. There is a saying about Michigan "Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change". We even had a earthquake centered in Ohio, in 1984, I actually felt it. Sitting in the chow hall and all of a sudden the table and I started shaking, I thought it was a very heavy prisoner walking by, then realized these are cement floors and walls. You haave never experienced anything until you do in a Prison. We use to have to stand in the hallways with the outside doors unlocked and proped open. With all the prisoners, so if they wanted they could just take off. One time the lights went out and we saw BALL LIGHTENING it freaked the whole wing out and prisoners were screaming and some crying. I used to stand and wonder who do I chase, does it go by crimes committed, length of sentence, past record. I was always ready to run. Even had a entire ceiling fall in on me and a building full of Maximum Security Prisoners. Fun times.

iheartjacksparrow said...

One more earthquake story. It was in the late 1970s and I was living in San Diego at the time. I was working for a law firm that had the entire 23rd floor. I was making photocopies at the copier, which was a huge machine, when suddenly it sort of took a step toward me. I thought it was possessed! I backed out of the alcove where it was located, and happened to look out the window to see every high-rise in downtown San Diego swaying back and forth. The earthquake knocked out the electricity, and the back-up generators didn't work, so everyone on the office had to walk down 23 flights of stairs to get out.

TheRecklessRoute said...

I live in California. All of the little earthquakes. The biggest one I've felt, and the biggest one we've had up here since '89, I think, happened about four years ago. It was somewhere in the fives? I was at SAT prep in my school library.

MirandaPriestly said...

I'm from & live in Houston now so Hurricane Ike & Tropical Storm Alison. Alison was actually more memorable for me bc I was relatively young & had never seen the power of nature before like that. The flooding from that tropical storm was way worse than Ike.
Went to college in Oklahoma & had my fair share of tornado sightings/weather, but never been in an actual tornado. I was in OK for a wedding May 21st & we made a long weekend of it & left the day before a big tornado hit just south of the Norman area.

MirandaPriestly said...

And obviously Katrina didn't hit Houston, but we had (I think) the majority of the refugee's out here, living in the Astrodome & other places. Hearing people's stories about their home's back in LA was so sad & also the stories you would here about things happening in the Dome. Horrible stuff. Seeing in a way first hand the way the people were effected as well as seeing that people really will kick the crap out of you when you're down was heartbreaking.

SOX11 said...

I adore my west coast friends and respect their jokes on us east coasters regarding the "big one" here in DC. Here is my thing... I was on Capitol Hill on 9/11/01 and I saw a plane crash into the Pentagon. THE LAST THING I THOUGHT OF TUESDAY WAS AN EARTHQUAKE. The first thought in my head when I grabbed my 1 year old was "holy shit, a plane is crashing". Let's not "one up each other" during natural and unnatural disasters. Would SoCal be able to handle a blizzard??? You guys are all awesome and I am not trying to start a pissing contest over weather and earth science. Just wanted to give my perspective. Stay safe!

elspeth said...

Grew up w/hurricanes; you have plenty of notice to prepare or leave. Nobody is in school now so we leave if it looks like more than a 2 or 3 coming towards us.

During one hurricane a gas line broke and burned a neighbor's house down; we were trying to figure out if we would stay in a burning house or go out into the storm. Fortunately the neighbors were in CO, and our house didn't catch fire. That's the last hurricane drama i want to go through.

The few mild quake tremors i've felt in Cali and New Madrid areas freaked me out. Had no idea how sure i was that the earth underneath me would stay still.

Right after moving to Chas., SC i asked a guy in construction about the building codes. He said it didn't matter because all of the water and gas pipe lines would break. What didn't fall down [a lot of Chas. is built on landfill which will liquify in a quake], would burn. We live a couple of blocks from E. Bay and the Ashley so i make myself believe i could make it to water when it happens. Chas. is near a major fault and is way overdue. Anyway that's my plan. I'll deal w/alligators and snakes when i get there.

ruready said...

I was in a tornado in Indiana. We had just sat down to eat at a Chinese buffet when it started to rain hard. Then it turned into hail. We are actually watching the local weather reporter talk about everything but a tornado. All of a sudden the lights went out. All of a sudden the front of the building exploded! I ducked down and crawled to the back where everyone else ran. When it looked like we could make it outside we jumped into my truck and somehow made it home. At first I thought we were on a flat. Turns out it was a big tree trunk lodged up under the truck! I have also been in 2 floods in New Orleans and the Blizzard of 2011 in Chicago. Hmm .. Maybe I should just stay in my house for the rest of my life.

Atlchica said...

I grew up in SoCal, so I experienced a bunch of earthquakes. In the tons of smaller ones, you would wake up with a feeling, then check the TV to see if it was an earthquake. The biggest one I felt was the Whittier Narrows quake in 1987. I was in school, and everyone froze in place instead of diving under the desks. Mr Minne (ah, how I miss him!) yelled at us to get under the desks, shaking all of us up into action. I remember watching the ceiling swaying. I used it as an excuse to skip half of school that day. I had a math class at te local university, and told officials that I would need extra time to get there. They bought it, and I ended up having an easy ride to class and enjoying lunch outdoors. :) That quake caused some serious damage elsewhere, though.

The 1971 quake was a month before I was born. I don't remember it, but my siblings have always razzed me about it causing long-term damage to me in the womb :)

I remember alot of brush fires in the hills above where I lived. I never had to evacuate, but my family did before I was born.

I live in Georgia now, and just missed being in te downtown tornado from a few years ago. Tornados scare me more than quakes, because I grew up with quakes.

I'm moving to Seattle in 2 weeks. Thank you for the reminder to prepare for a quake! I'm glad to be living on flat ground rather than in the hills. Those hills were caused by quakes, no matter how good the view is, it's not worth it!

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

I've lived in So Cal since '76 (so I missed the '71 Sylmar quake). But I've been through the Whittier quake but more importantly the Northridge quake. My cat woke me up 30 seconds b4 the Northridge quake hit, which was very unusual for her, but I was awake asking her what was wrong when the shaking started. Naturally since then, I absolutely believe the theory that animals feel these things before we do. I definitely thought I was going to die during that quake, but in the grand scheme of things, my house suffered very little damage compared to most. Things flew off shelves and broke, but no structural damage. I had family members living much closer to the epicenter who said it was like a train roaring through their rooms. My parents had retired and moved out of state just a couple months before which was a blessing, because their old neighborhood was hit hard, and my dad had a heart condition.

Ari said...

I was born during the 1987 blizzard up north, so no memories other than the stories I've been told. Same goes for Hurricane Andrew, which hit a few years after we moved to Florida. Since then, there have been plenty of hurricanes, including the 2004 Big Four. Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne; my town was in each of their main paths.

The next year, I went to school in the Gulf Coast when Katrina hit. I walked through her outer bands to attend classes, since my college was one of the only ones in the state that did not evacuate or shut down when Katrina steamed through. They really cared for the student body.

I'm fortunate that while I've experienced a number of large storms, they did not have a negative impact on my life or loved ones.

Fi said...

I live in Christchurch, NZ, so very recently have been through several big'uns and a billion "small" ones.
The big ones are still scary, but you do get used to the 4-and-unders, believe it or not :)

Karmen said...

I'm always late on this stuff. These aren't actually my stories; they're my boyfriend's. He has two crazy-ass anecdotes that trump anything I can muster.

He was in Turkey visiting family when the 1999 earthquake hit. It was a 7.6 quake that killed 17,000 people and left half a million people homeless. He was sleeping when his family's house was evacuated. Thankfully they were safe.

When he was a University of Maryland freshman in 2001, he was living in the Denton Dorm. My fellow Terps remember this as the dorm that got hit by the tornado. He had to run to the dorm basement for safety. His room was fine, but it completely damaged the building. Keep in mind: this was only a few weeks after 9/11. College Park is only a short metro ride from DC, so this was a traumatizing time to start college.

RocketQueen said...

@B.Profane - nope, not referring to Seattle. Vancouver, BC.