Looks Like I Made It

That reminds me a little of the Barry Manilow song, but guess what guys? I made it through the week. Wednesday was rough. It sure doesn’t take long to feel exhausted. But we switched up some stuff around the house to make our mornings a little easier, and so far, it’s going pretty well.

The topic of the week has been our weather. The dryness is a bit ridiculous now and I fear that water rationing is around the corner. Which makes no sense because if our yards die and turn to dead brush, they’ll go up in flames and then the fire department will use a ton of water anyway so why not just cut back? The talk is that we won’t be allowed to do ANY outdoor watering. That’s just not possible in dry California.

Also, today is the 20th anniversary of the Northridge quake which screwed me up in many ways. I lived at the epicenter and we lost everything. We were renting, but we lost most of our stuff since we couldn’t get stuff out before it was red tagged. I lost my place of employment which was also red tagged. It was rough. I had also just finished my B.A. at CSUN and yet, my records were not easy to access and confirm. I had also just applied for a job there. It was an interesting time.

This was the parking lot that I used to park in. Since the quake hit during a holiday, I was not there! That parking lot was the first multi-level parking structure for the campus and as you can see, it was a goner.

CSUN Quake Damage

And this is a picture of the building I work in now, but right after the quake. It took a long time for the campus to rebuild. People worked in portable domes for many years afterward.

Oviatt Library Quake Damage

I should note, that there have been four small earthquakes this week. As soon as I get home, I am just going to put some things together (just in case). Before the Northridge quake, I remember there being a series of small quakes and it’s making me a little nervous. It’s hard to keep an earthquake kit up to date. Things expire, even fabric becomes brittle and after rotating stuff out a few times, I felt it was very expensive to keep it up. So now, when I notice a pattern, I try to put stuff together.

And just so we don’t end this on a bad note, this is the library today. I work underneath all that concrete at the very bottom. No windows for me but the “garden” level held up pretty well and seems like the most stable place to be. I like to think that anyway.

Oviatt Library

I can’t believe it’s been twenty years.

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27 Responses

  1. Wow…I had no idea…we had one small earthquake when we lived in Santa Clara but I will never forget it…the emergency box is a great idea!

  2. I am so sorry, Ti, that you had to go through all that. What a nightmare.

    I remember that morning so well. My parents and I were in a hotel for the night in Thousand Oaks. They’d driven me back for the start of the new semester. I remember how rushed they were to get home to Sacramento–they couldn’t go the usual way because of all the freeway damage. My husband–then boyfriend–was already back in his dorm room. That’s where he was when it hit.

    The school opened its doors to families and students from Northridge who didn’t have anywhere to go. I remember that. I also remember some of the structural damage around campus. A few classrooms were closed as a result.

    It was a scary time. The recent quakes haven’t been too far from where I live and they got me thinking about the Northridge quake again. Little quakes don’t usually get me worried, but with all the big earthquakes around the world and how long its been since our last one . . .

    And, yeah, the fire threat. Fire impacts my county every year and I live in an area where there’s a lot of potential for possible fires. We’ve been lucky so far. Hopefully we stay that way.

    To be honest, fire scares me more than earthquakes, but I know both are bad and can take everything from you.

    • Fires scare me too but their aftermath is not as long-term as a big quake. It was over a year before I could make my commute in under 3 hours because of that freeway collapse.

      Let’s hope there are no quakes or fires!

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  3. I’ve had so little experience with earthquakes, this sounds incredibly terrifying. What an awful thing to go through.

    • Before the Northridge quake, I had felt many quakes but never one as large or as shallow as that one. 6.9 at only 10 miles deep was incredibly explosive. It threw us out of bed and across the room. Nothing was where you left it the night before and it was pitch black. I always keep stuff by the bed, like shoes and my glasses but when everything gets thrown, stuff like that is just gone. And trying to get out of a building from the 3rd floor when three stairwells have collapsed (unknown to us) was like being blind. I WAS blind. No light and no glasses. And my poor cat. I actually went back to get my cat. Who was difficult to find and unconscious so he wasn’t about to help me. It’s just scary and the aftershocks were so significant for days afterward. No gas for the car, because there was no power.

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      • Wow. I can’t even imagine. That sounds horrifying!

        • The stuff that bothered us had to do with simple logistics like… how to get gas in the car when there is no power at the pumps, or that you can’t fill a water bottle since the water lines break and there is no water to even flush a toilet. That is, you have the luxury have being near a toilet.

          You can’t stop at the store to buy snacks either when all you have is a debit/credit card and the card reader is down because of there bring no power. These things alarmed us because it prevented us from leaving and that is all we wanted to do.

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  4. I had no idea about any of this. Wow. I cannot imagine living through that. Earthquakes terrify me.

    I can imagine this would be an odd week for you.

    • And what’s really hard is that the impact of such a thing lasts for years!! It took over a year to get the freeway rebuilt and that was my only way in and out of town. So my commute to work was many times more than 3 hours long (one way!).

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  5. I cannot imagine that. I felt the one they had in DC that cracked the Washington Monument on the Mall a few years ago and I live north of the city. I cannot believe how strong that stuff is even far away from the epicenter. i really should consider an emergency kit. I’m so behind on these kinds of things

    • The price of a well stocked kit if costly but it helps to have some stuff on hand. I mean, even using the bathroom was a problem so TP would have been handy. If you have a pet or kids…stuff like a water bowl and diapers, that kind of thing. Heck, even some of the “womanly” things needs to be taken into consideration. Can you imagine?

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  6. When I saw the title of your post in my Reader, I thought of the Barry Manilow song too.

    My mom went to college in San Diego and she talks about how scary a little earthquake was so I can’t imagine what it’s like to live through a big one like that. I’m glad you’re prepared.

  7. What an awful thing to have experienced. Thanks for sharing your story and photos

  8. Wow, you’re life really was turned upside down that day! Hope these quakes you’ve been having don’t amount to anything…and that you get some rain soon! We’ve had almost no snow so far this winter and are going to need some big snowfalls or a really wet spring to catch up. The East Coast seems to be getting the moisture intended for the entire country this winter.

  9. I completely get it, except we are like that with hurricanes. We mark time here with 2004, when we had three devastating hurricanes hit within a month here in Central Florida. When hurricane season starts, we start living with less things in our freezer, and a bunch of water and batteries on hand. At least with hurricanes, we get warning. You guys don’t. I don’t blame you for being uneasy. Better to be prepared. I hope nothing comes of it.

  10. Wow! Those pictures are amazing and sad. I’ve lived through a number of small quakes, but nothing major or that caused significant damage. It’s scary to think of a big one hitting.

  11. Scary photos! It’s hard for this Wisconsin girl to wrap my mind around quakes and fires. The weather in other areas can be so dangerous. We deal with insane cold and crazy snow but they are manageable if you aren’t stupid. (Ha ha, but it’s true!)

    I’m glad you’ve made it through the week! Stay safe!

    • I would totally freak out in snow. I freak out when it rains hard. Seriously. I guess it’s normal to be afraid or unsure about what are aren’t used to but at least with earthquakes, they don’t happen all that often.

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  12. That was a Terrible quake. So glad you weren’t there on a holiday. Thx for sharing this post. I was in the 1971 (San Fernando) quake as a kid; we were living in San Marino at the time. I was too young to know how scary it was but it rocked our house. The Northridge quake was so destructive; I can’t believe it’s been 20 years now.

    • I barely remember the San Fernando quake but what I do remember, was that it was a quick jolt. Northridge seemed to linger a little too long which I am sure added to the damage.

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  13. I hope this week continues to run a little more smoothly. I try to do a few things at night before bed to prep for the morning–getting Elle’s clothes together, lunches made, some tidying up. It helps a little. Though I know y’all’s schedule is MUCH busier with the kiddos.

    So scary with the earthquakes. We’ve been having some here–a little west of where we are and no one knows why. Maybe because of drilling as there aren’t any fault lines. I’m also fearful of the summer here–they’re calling for drier and hotter than normal. I can’t imagine it being any hotter or drier!!

    • Earthquakes in Texas? I guess it could be movement from drilling but is really strange. I know it’s hot where you are. It’s hot here in spurts but this year is just unreal so far.

      I hate to spent the evening prepping for the next day but it does help.

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  14. Wow! This is scary, and I guess it doesn’t help that I just finished reading The Age of Miracles for book club tonight, in which climate change becomes a problem that can’t be ignored when the earth’s rotation speed slows down. I can see how this anniversary would spook you!

    • What did you think of Age of Miracles? It had a YA feel to it although I don;’t think it was marketed as a young adult read.

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      • No, it wasn’t, but one of the people I work with (also in the book club) said the same thing! It had the adult perspective throughout (you knew the narrator was looking back on her middle school years) so maybe that’s why it wasn’t marketed as YA. I liked it, but wasn’t completely wowed.

  15. Holy crap, those pictures do tell the story of the damage very well. It took me a while to realize that the parking lot was destroyed in that photo. I thought that was the design – some nice dome shape. Whew. Glad that you were fine though. Hope the small quakes last week were just tiny hiccups.

    • There was an aerial shot of that parking lot somewhere but I couldn’t find it. It leaned over like it was made out of bendy straws. Liquifaction was a problem. The ground literally rose in waves in some places and shoot like heck in others. I believe that was a result of the liquification that took place and was hit and miss in the area.

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