The Queen Charlotte Islands off the north-west coast of BC was the site of a 7.7 earthquake last night, followed by tsunami warnings and numerous aftershocks. It was also followed by phone calls, emails, status updates and messages from friends and family up and down the coastline and throughout the province. No one injured, no damage. Just shaken. And shaken up. All this, mere days after the province-wide earthquake drill.

We live on the west coast. On purpose. There are prickly tectonic plates out there. They shift. We know earthquakes can be expected; we know they’re inevitable. But we live here anyway. Just like when we lived in the prairies, knowing full well there were going to be golf ball sized hail storms and tornadoes, or up north, knowing that the temperature would regularly plummet to -40°C [huh. apparently , -40 is -40, whether you’re in Celsius or Fahrenheit] and that it would be dark 23 1/2 hours a day for a week each winter. And we lived there anyway. And if we had chosen to live on the east coast, there would be storms.

But that doesn’t mean we ignored any of it.

When we moved to the west coast, one of the first things the prairie relatives sent was an earthquake kit. We did not move near the ocean; we moved to the side of a mountain, high above the inlet below. We still don’t live at the water or on the delta, ready to flood and/or sink at the slightest nudge. But does living on higher ground and having a flashlight, wind up radio and water purification tablet make me completely prepared for the next earthquake? No where near it. I should probably make sure that I can actually adjust my main water shut off and that I have more than a handful of matches somewhere in the house.

I should probably check the expiry date on whatever fake food is in that kit.

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