One of the many things I like about living in Boston is that there’s a relative shortage of natural disasters – though you wouldn’t know it if you watched our local meteorologists. My childhood state of California was like that too – there was always the possibility of earthquake or fire, but I never worried about it the way other parts of the country worried about their disasters. I guess it’s a question of what you’re used to.
To this day, whenever the subject of earthquakes come up, folks out here sort of shudder with concern and ask what
earthquakes are “really like.” And they look at me with slight disappointment when I tell them they aren’t that interesting – at least the ones I’ve lived through. When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I went to a school called Miraleste High, which for a short time, was a 7-12 school. I spent many afternoons at the nearby Miraleste Library, and it was always hard to tell whether it was just the wind blowing really hard or an earthquake – they happened frequently and without warning, but were usually pretty mild and uninteresting. We used to have earthquake drills at school, but that’s about the extent of it. The Northridge earthquake was the worst earthquake I ever experienced, and I don’t remember because I slept through it.
In Boston, the big natural disaster concerns are blizzards, and I’ve lived through a couple doozies here, but I’ve never been truly worried about them.
When I think about the other parts of the country and the crazy things that seem to happen there – like tornadoes in Tornado Alley (Twister scarred me beyond repair) and hurricanes in the South – I’m thankful that that I don’t worry about that scale of devastation. I used to worry about hurricanes up here, but have been repeatedly reassured that by the time a hurricane makes it up here, it’s usually “nothing more” than a tropical storm.
Of course, in just the past couple of months, we’ve seen tornadoes in Massachusetts, an earthquake on the East Coast and a hurricane that threatened widespread devastation all along the Eastern Seaboard.
Anyone else feel like we should be building an ark or something right about now?