my earthquake experience


The following video is not me or anyone I know, but I can relate to it because I’ve been there. And there’s a reason I picked this particular video after searching a few videos out there to choose from to talk about. Also, let it be known, I’m not making light of what just happened in Japan at all.

Yes, this is a video from the popular ride Earthquake located in Universal Studios Orlando which has since be remodeled and revamped to something similar called “Disaster!” But I went on this ride in 1995 when I was 9 and was scared of everything. I didn’t want to go on in the first place, but I went along anyway. And then when everything started to shake, I cried. (There actually is a VHS somewhere around my house with proof.) I didn’t find it fun or amusing. I was petrified out of my mind and wanted it to stop and be over, even though it was relatively short, terror makes time go very slowly.

One of the reasons I picked this video is because you can hear at least one kid crying. I’m pretty sure that kid and I weren’t the only ones. Like I said, I was terrified. And yesterday morning after watching CNN (and waking up from an earthquake/tsunami related dream) I had recalled my sunny time in Florida and relived the fabricated real-life nightmare I felt. It wasn’t really pleasant to recollect at that particular time.

I know the Japanese are used to smaller earthquakes, but it’s safe to say that this one was serious. And the earthquake was only half the problem. But I had watched the videos of people who were running for shelter, scared, not knowing what to do, and some had mentioned they were so terrified and thought they would die. Even though I was only 9 and I was in a perfectly safe ride, I think I can imagine how they felt. I’m so used to standing on solid and stable ground that if it started to tremble like it was in Japan, or even in that ride, I would probably panic.

I don’t know what it’s like to be in a tsunami or a flood, nor do I know what it’s like to be displaced or lose someone in a disaster. I don’t think “devastating” would be a strong enough word to describe how I would feel, so I’m not going to guess that’s how those who are going through this now feel.

Out of this tragedy, one thing I see that’s awesome is the power of technology. Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Google and more have been essential in located those thought to be lost. It’s nice to know that social media can be used to save lives as well as inform breaking news, reuniting with family and friends and even posting what you had for breakfast.

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the thousands if not millions of people affected by this. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes are all things we as humans have to deal with living on this planet. Some of us don’t make it to see the outcome of some disasters. But those of us that do should all work together to put things back together and help one another get better. More than likely I’ll be donating to some relief fund in a few days. I do that for every disaster, now that I think about it. And if there’s more I can donate or something I can do to help, I usually do. Charity started at home a long time ago for me, so I have no problem offering a helping hand. And let’s not underestimate  the power of prayer either.

To donate to the Red Cross, click here.

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Posted in charity, memories, storytelling

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