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Getting Ready For The Big One, 2012, Or Whatever Emergency Situation Presents Itself
In 1989, I lived in San Francisco, right in the heart of North Beach. That year there was an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale, which managed to knock a few things over including a couple of freeways, a portion of the bay bridge and a good portion of the Marina district (which then proceeded to catch fire).
I walked to and from work, so unlike many others, I had no trouble getting home that day; in fact on the way home I ran into my housemate Pablo who, true to form, was hanging out in a cafe, "picking up chicks." The earthquake had interrupted this, so we walked home together to see what damage had been done to our flat.
As it turned out, our building sat on solid rock, so we suffered no damage whatsoever. We thought we were set until we realized that the only thing we had in the fridge was a six-pack of beer. Every public building in San Francisco had been ordered shut until the fire department could inspect it for damage. That included grocery stores, restaurants, liquor stores - anyplace where we could have gotten a second six-pack of beer (and maybe something to eat, too).
Did I mention all the power had been turned off? Gas, too - to avoid additional sections of the city bursting into flames.
We would have been rather uncomfortable if it had not been for the Italian guy across the street who, 5 seconds after his building had been given the all clear, fired up his gas powered generator and proceeded to cook wonderful Italian food for all the silly twenty-somethings who had nothing in the fridge but a six-pack of beer. Grazie.
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