So relaxing, such peace, it's hard to leave, but it's time to head to work; so the car leaves the beach and turns inland to a lightly traveled highway glistening in the sunlight like a long thin silver ribbon.
The road is empty of cars and serene this morning. As the driver looks ahead, it's as if the ribbon of grey begins to slowly rise and fall. No! can't be, there is not enough heat for a mirage. What the? Shaking his head, the driver slows and sees the road rise and fall in waves reaching out towards the ocean behind. The driver pulls the car over to the side of the road in dismay. The earth is no longer fixed and firm, but undulating in waves like the ocean behind him. Closer and closer they come - then the car shakes and bounces as waves of earth rumble under it in a hurry to reach the ocean beyond.
EARTHQUAKE!! And, yes, that really was how it happened!!
How does one respond if an earthquake occurs while driving?
"Experiencing an earthquake while in a moving vehicle has been compared to driving on four flat tires. If an earthquake occurs while you are driving:
- Gradually decrease speed
- Pull to the side of the road
- Do not stop on or under overpasses or bridges
- Avoid parking near trees, downed power lines and buildings
- Stop the car and stay down on the floor
- Remain in your car until the shaking stops
- Keep in mind that aftershocks follow the initial earthquake
- Turn on your car radio and listen for advisories (Most radio stations are prepared to broadcast emergency information)
- Do not drive until it's safe and avoid overpasses or bridges as they may have been weakened
- If driving on the freeway, and if it's safe to do so, exit at the first opportunity
- Cooperate with public safety officers because they are trying to ensure your safety and that of others
- First aid kit (bandages, gauze, tape etc.)
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable foods
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulb
- Fire extinguisher (C02)
- Pocket radio with extra batteries
- Tools (screwdriver, pliers, wire, pocket knife, can opener) Tissues and pre-moistened towel Extra clothes and sturdy shoes Short rubber hose for siphoning Sealable plastic bags Local maps Matches Toiletries
The experience described at the outset of this bulletin is just how an earthquake introduced itself to one person stationed in California. You never know when or how. It may be you, and it may be somewhere other than on the West Coast. Be prepared!