As everyone knows, there was a pretty big earthquake (for east coast standards) just south of DC (right between my VA hometown of Charlottesville and Richmond). While I have experienced mild earthquakes before, this was a totally different experience. I had just gotten back from lunch and we were all sitting at our desks when this mild shaking happened. We thought it was someone moving something upstairs at first but then it kept going on and on. We got out of our chairs right as the shaking got much worse and we were literally the epitome of chickens with our heads cut off. We had no idea what to do but eventually stood in the door frame after one of my coworkers yelled for us to do that. After it stopped, like everyone else at Mason, we left the office and congregated outside waiting to hear word on what to do next. We ended up being evacuated and sent home, though we weren’t let out of parking garages for a while. It’s sort of a scary thing because our university is SO big that no one really knows who is in charge when something like that happens. Yes, we have the emergency text message system but that is not always known to be timely.
It was definitely unnerving, but the scariest thing was not being able to reach Brian when I wanted to or Audrey’s daycare or my parents. Luckily Brian called me within 20 seconds of it ending, but after that we weren’t able to reach each other or Audrey’s daycare for a looooooong time afterwards simply bc phone lines were so clogged up. People kept saying this was what it was like w/ 9/11, though I’m sure the phone craziness yesterday was much milder than it was 10 years ago.
Luckily, everyone was okay but this was nothing like the other mild VA or Buffalo earthquakes I have felt before. Very scary and I think I ended up shaking for probably 15 min afterwards! Have you seen the picture on FB & Twitter of the knocked-over lawn chair and the caption “VA Earthquake 2011: We will rebuild”? It makes me laugh, especially knowing that no one was injured!