Anyway, your comments brought up a good question - how do you 'live' with the idea of the constant threat of earthquakes? I'll admit I used to think the same thing when watching some National Geographic documentary about the San Francisco quake, or Northridge, or some other recent disaster. It's the same with people living on the slopes of an active volcano. Muppets, right?
I liked Skeletor's rationale, that yes, the Big One is statistically going to hit at some point in the next 30 years, but California is vast, and the chances that you will be at the epicentre, slim. Plus I know two very good friends who've lived through a big earthquake, and even though in one case their home was completely destroyed (hi Chilly!), they still live in California and are able to make great dinner conversation. After all, would you rather get flattened in an earthquake in gorgeous Santa Barbara or hit by a bus in Bury?
Hovering over a fault line as we are (one runs straight through Santa Barbara), how much time do we devote to thinking about earthquakes? Are our large pieces of furniture strapped to the walls? No. Do I have an earthquake kit? No. Idiotic I know, but I used to console myself that we always had a flat of water in the house, but ever since drinking out of a plastic bottle became tantamount to clubbing a baby seal to death, the only liquids we have are chocolate milk and wine. At least two thirds of this household would be happy in the event of an emergency....
This is as much thought as I give to earthquakes on a daily basis:
- I always think about them when stuck in traffic under a freeway overpass.
- I always think about them when standing next to a large plate glass window, or a shop full of china and glass.
- I keep my fingers crossed that one doesn't hit when I'm in labour.
- I always think about them if I go to bed naked, or plastered, or in any way compromised should 'the big one' hit. I have a morbid fear of them pulling my pasty, naked body out of a pile of rubble bum first. One must always dress for earthquakes.
- I try not to think about them now that Anna is sleeping in her own bed on the other side of the house, or when she's not with me.
- I should have at least a rudimentary earthquake kit. That does NOT include me 'knowing where the candles are'.
- I have asked LK where, structurally, he would recommend I stand if one hits and I'm at home (after watching countless Blitz films, I thought under the stairs, but he says our house is practically made of out of papier mache and feathers, so it's much better to stand under the big steel beam in our living room).
That's about it really. Hopefully I'll never find out , but it's not looking likely.