I’ve never once claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed, but when I packed up for the peaceful paradise of Victoria, I have to admit natural disaster was not on my mind. Apparently, I was too distracted by minor moving related catastrophes to learn about my new city.
My first clue that something was amiss came during the arrangement of our home insurance. The second came when I was exploring my desk the other day and found this:
It’s an earthquake kit. How a bag of water, a mask, a pair of gloves and a couple of glow sticks are supposed to pull me down from the ceiling when the earth begins to tremble is anyone’s guess. Plus, where’s the Valium? Clearly I got a defective supply bag.
I asked around and sure enough, I now live in an earthquake susceptible zone. I did NOT sign on for that mess. For some reason I thought seismic perils ended at the San Francisco city limits. The Victorians tell me it’s nothing to be concerned about, but really, come on. I’m from Newfoundland. Hurricanes and wild blizzards I can handle. A building suddenly caving in on my head swiftly followed by a tidal wave I cannot.
According to the Earthquake Track website, there have been 232 earthquakes in British Columbia so far this year, two in the past seven days (not that I experienced anything beyond my usual instability). See that’s the kind of information I expect to be told at the immigration office in Vancouver—”Now you’re absolutely sure you want to live here? You know that at any moment we will all tumble into the sea never to be heard from again, right?”
Sweet hand of god, I’m not prepared to live with this hanging over me at every moment. Maybe that’s why folks here are always running and cycling like maniacs all the time. I guess they figure when the Big One hits, they’ll outrun or outride Mother Earth. Not me. I never underestimate the power of nature or overestimate my own.
So, the best strategy I can think of is to keep calm and carry on sipping wine and reading books and put earthquakes out of my mind. My little life now registers 0.0 on the Richter Scale and that’s just how I like it. That being said, it never hurts to be prepared. It’s surprisingly pleasant sleeping in the ambulance I bought and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the hockey helmet I wear at all times.