Apparently the Napa Valley is becoming Earthquake Central. This is the second major quake we’ve suffered in fourteen years – both along the same basic fault line which runs, oh, within a half mile of our house.
We are so fortunate. The only lasting damage we suffered was a few dents in the wall where the crazy swinging ceiling fans bashed into it. One of the ceiling fans is broken. A lamp broke. One jar of raspberry jam flipped over and broke. Oscar was quite upset about this as I had only recently made the jam, he loved it, and it was our last jar. Otherwise all is well, which is both a miracle and a miracle of planning ahead.
Here is a photo of my friend’s kitchen:
Aside from the jar of jam, which flipped upside down inside the fridge, we lost nothing. Not a single cabinet opened, nothing fell from the shelves in our pantry, not a bottle of wine was broken. After the last earthquake we made some changes. All our cabinets have catches which sort of prevent the doors, drawers and pull-out shelves from opening. Plus our pull-out shelves have lips two inches high on the front edge.
After the last earthquake (when my kitchen resembled the photo above) I ripped out all the shelving in our pantry and installed movable stainless steel shelving that has a lip along every edge. I placed baskets onto the shelves behind the lip with an added three inches of protection so all my canned goods and bottles, jars, etc. sit in the baskets. Nothing fell out of a basket. Not one thing.
We moved all our wines from wooden wine storage racks into a compact and sturdy wine refrigerator. Everything is a snug fit. No way is that unit going to spill a drop of wine, even if the entire unit tips over.
I moved everything away from our bed – no pictures above the bed, no ceiling fan– that’s for sure. And no mirrors! The one mirror in our room is securely anchored to the dresser.
That doesn’t mean things didn’t go flying. They did. It’s just that nothing of importance broke. I have these two amazing china cabinets. They contains all my grandmothers’ and great-grandmothers’ china and crystal. The cabinets have this ability to walk around during an earthquake. If we secured them to the wall, the glass doors would open and everything would fly out. Instead they just walk themselves around the dining room. I am the only person on our block to survive the quake with all my china and crystal intact.
Book shelves ended up all over the house, contents spilled everywhere. Yet every single piece of glassware, every picture, every cherished plate landed all by itself on the carpet or on a chair– in perfect condition. Our new roof held up as did the bolts that hold our house to its foundation. Truly amazing.
My youngest daughter’s bedroom was hit the hardest. A number of her picture frames were shattered and there was glass everywhere, but we were lucky. That was the biggest cleanup. My son drove in, bearing coffee and sandwiches– as we had no power and could barely even text via our cell phones (a cell phone tower was knocked down) and he helped us clean up. We were finished by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Unfortunately my husband’s San Francisco Giants bobbleheads collection didn’t fare so well. Catcher Buster Posey broke his right ankle. Seriously. Hard to believe but yes, the bobblehead broke its right ankle.
Tim Lincecum was scalped (among other things):
Aubrey Huff (from the 2010 World Series Team) looks like the Venus de Milo without a head and pitcher Madison Bumgarner lost his pitching arm. Yeah, those poor bobbleheads. It was the Great Bobblehead Massacre of 2014.
So remember – SFCD – Shoes/Flashlight/Cellphone/Dog.
Most of the injuries were caused when people ran barefoot over broken glass. I always kick my flip flops off next to my bed. We keep one flashlight in our bedroom and another in our kitchen. My cell phone is on my bedside table at night and the dog jumped on our heads right before the earthquake hit. (Smart dog!) As soon as we got downstairs I put his emergency collar on him.
You have to ride it out – don’t go running around like a chicken with your head cut off in the midst of a quake. (This quake was like the Indiana Jones ride times three without the restraints.) When the shaking stops get outside as quick as you can.
We all gathered in the court to take stock. We went from house to house to make sure everyone was okay and to check gas lines and water heaters. Nobody had any cell service — we couldn’t even call 9-1-1 so we realized we’d have to deal with any emergent situation on our own. Fortunately for our court the most emergent situation was the flood of swimming pool water – everyone’s pool had emptied onto the street in one big tsunami.
As soon as we realized everyone was uninjured, I went inside and filled every single container I had with clean water. Yes, we had water but I didn’t know how long we’d have water or if it would stay potable. Figured I’d err on the side of caution and store water while it was still clean. (I didn’t want to fill the bathtub because I often find spiders in the tub. Ew.)
So, the house is restored to normal, the cat came back Sunday evening, the birds were perfectly safe in their heavy steel cage, albeit they were extremely quiet as were all the night creatures– eerily quiet even the next day and night. We are lucky to have both water and now power – just three blocks away our friends have neither. Downtown Napa looks like it’s been hit by artillery. I’m staying away for the time being. Oh, and the grocery stores… the poor poor grocery stores. I don’t know when they’ll reopen.
I’ve been through tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The power of nature boggles the mind. We are so grateful to be alive and well.
Here are a few photos of our area~
P.S. Oscar has an emergency radio. He was so excited to use it during this emergency! The first time he cranked it up the crank broke. He was so mad and it was so funny.