DISCLAIMER: Earthquakes in Alaska are common, we know that they will happen at some point. We are just used to the protocol and have earthquake drills in elementary school. When I was in Auburn, Alabama for college we would have tornadoes and thunderstorms, that is what they were used to but they completely freaked me out. I remember my first tornado warning, I was with my roommate and we hid in the shelter in our apartment while I was having a panic attack and she consoled me. I know that if she was with me in an earthquake, the roles would be reversed.
In the middle of the night, as the 22nd of January turned into the 23rd, I woke up randomly at about 12:29 a.m. I often wake up in the middle of the night only to go right back to sleep. I looked at my phone and I checked the time. I remember trying to fall back asleep and right before I almost fell back asleep I felt like I was one a boat. That was when the quake hit. The earth was shaking and it was about 12:31 a.m. It took about a minute for me to realize that there was a very large earthquake happening. I received an emergency notification on my phone about a tsunami warning. Now in an earthquake situation there are certain things you are supposed to do. I can tell you that I did absolutely none of them.
I realized that I was not in much danger of a tsunami, as my location was pretty far inland. I probably should have jumped out of bed and ran upstairs to huddle under the dining room table so that if debris fell my head would be protected. There are a few reasons I didn’t do that. One of them was the fact that I was exhausted and just wanted to try to go back to sleep. The second reason is that I live with my brother. That alone would not be enough to keep me in my room. My brother on occasion prefers to slumber in his birthday suit, but I would never know when that is, it’s not like I ask him before he goes to bed the night before. So because of the sheer fear of seeing my brother running out of his room naked, I stayed in my bed.
This is also the second time in the last two weeks that I have been in an emergent situation. I was in Maui, Hawaii for the mistake ballistic missile warning and it was the absolute scariest 38 minutes of my life. A little over a week later and I am in another potentially emergent situation. Luckily for me, and many others, neither of these incidents turned out to be life threatening. The fact is, they could have been. These events have made me evaluate my life, and I know that I am happy where I am. I encourage you to look at your life before you are in a situation where you think it might be the end, you never know what you might regret or wish you had done. Let’s try to live our lives with no regrets!