Tornado vs Earthquake?

Have you ever been in a tornado? I have. It is one of the most amazing, scary and even thrilling natural events I have experienced. The sound of a tornado is something that you will never forget.

Growing up in a small Mid-Western town, we would have tornado drills at school. And most of us had cellars, so we all knew where to go if there was threat.

You get no warning with an earthquake.

I’ve lived in California for almost 10 years now, and today was my first real earthquake experience. It not only shook the house, it shook me too.

And it wasn’t even “that big”.

I found out today I’m still a Mid-Westerner when all of my California Girl bravado went out the window.

My husband was home during the quake and just smiled and rode it out. I, on the other hand, jumped up and stood in the doorway as we watched the house shake, the pictures on the wall shake, and waited for it to stop.

I didn’t like it one bit.

All this time living here I have been waiting to experience an earthquake. I’ve felt several small ones and lots of aftershocks, but none this size.

We lived in Napa during the big 6.0 earthquake of 2014. Only I wasn’t there at the time. I was in Carmel for a wedding the day before, and woke up to several messages from family members checking to see if I was okay.

On my way to a wedding event
On my way to the wedding!

When we got home later that day we were surprised to see so much damage and, this is going to sound crazy, but I was a little upset that I’d missed it. I mean, how cool would it be to say you experienced what was now a part of history?

Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
Downtown Napa, August 24, 2014

Okay, so now I’m glad I was lucky enough to be in a cozy hotel in Carmel.

The sensation of the earthquake stayed with me for a few hours and I even felt sick to my stomach. I’d like to say I’ll be cool and collected when I experience another quake, but I’m not sure I’ve earned the “Seasoned Earthquake Veteran” title just yet.

How about you? Have you ever experienced an earthquake and/or tornado?

Reader Comments

  1. Julie Augustyn

    Hi Loretta,

    I have never experienced a tornado. I have experienced an earthquake. I was sleeping and it woke me up. I believe Illinois is on a fault line.

    Glad you didn’t have any terrible consequences from the earthquake!

  2. Lisa

    Tornados terrify me. I’ve never understood those (a sister included) who live in tornado country and don’t have cellars. I live in earthquake territory, and I’ve been through them. I’d much rather go through an earthquake than a tornado. Not that I want to go through either! We have bug-out bags and stocked pantry and a plan for earthquakes. But a tornado takes everything. How do you plan for that? Plus the whole randomness of a tornado…it goes here, then it wanders over there, then it hops someplace else. There’s no way to know if you’re safe. An earthquake hits, then it’s over. No wandering around. Glad you survived your first quake!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Good points Lisa….I hadn’t thought of that. Tornados do have a path of their own that we can’t anticipate. But at least there is some warning. Working on my earthquake plan next!

  3. Mary D.

    Glad it wasn’t any worse. I think I would have experienced the same sensation as you did but hope not to find out. My husband and I keep throwing around where we should winter once he retires and he looks at things like cost of living, taxes etc. and I look at catastrophic events, crime rates, crocodiles, poisonous snakes, scorpions and spiders ! Guess maybe I will have to eliminate California as an option. I think I am running out of options since I don’t want earthquakes, hurricanes, sink holes, etc. Plus, like you, I grew up heading to the basement to stay safe and many places don’t have basements so where would I go to feel safe?? Oh, dear, maybe I should just get on some meds. lol

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Ha! Mary, that was funny. Just remember, I’ve lived in California for 10 years and this was my first earthquake…so I don’t think it happens as often as people think.

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