In the wake of a quake

(This is the Online column written for The Southland Times)

Well, Tuesday got off to a bumpy start with the earthquake that rocked our world here in the deep south.

I was in bed when the quake hit and was suddenly joined by my rather large, and rather wimpy, dog Boof. Much to the disgust of Seymour the cat, who was already snuggled up on the bed enjoying a leisurely morning.

quakeI’m not sure which event traumatised the dog more, the earthquake or being beaten up by the cat.

My first port of call after an earthquake is always GeoNet, which provides real-time monitoring of seismic activity.

Unfortunately, I think Tuesday’s quake rocked GeoNet off its foundations because the site was down for quite some time.

It seemed appropriate that I got home from work on Tuesday night just in time to catch the start of Escape from LA on Sky Movies 2, which featured a humongous earthquake.

If your home suffered any damage from the quake, you’ll find all the information you need at the Earthquake Commission website. Unfortunately, it seems they don’t cover pets so I won’t be getting any counselling for my poor, traumatised puppy. However, there is a stack of info on making claims and on making your house safer before an earthquake strikes.

The amazing Captain Safety has an interestingly weird list of safety tips at his site but eHow has a slightly more sensible list of safety tips on offer.

And remember, if you look out your window during an earthquake and see a large, zig-zag-shaped crevasse moving rapidly towards your home, step either to the right or the left.

This year’s mini-series 10.5 dealt with the possibility of not just one, but a series of big, nasty quakes on the west coast of the United States. It’s an okay sort of mini-series but nothing can beat the good old 1970s disaster movies.

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