Wow, that was crazy. The last earthquake that I remember hitting So Cal was summer of ’05 and I was in Texas at the time, so I only experienced it via Fox News. This time I was up close and personal with the event.
At first, I thought someone in the building had slammed a door. But when it didn’t stop and the floor shook harder and harder, I realized it was an earthquake. I am well trained and headed for a doorway, right out the front door. Several others were emerging from their apartments into the hallway as well, and I heard several “This is so cool!” and “Oh, G*!”. I stood in the doorway as my mind went through the process of thinking, “I should go outside. I need shoes. I need keys. I need my cell phone.” That was when I noticed the building was swaying, which put me especially off-balance because I could see the building sway with the ground in the background and the ground was no longer moving. Then I realized I was short of breath, my hands were shaking and my legs were weak (adrenaline rush!). I continued outside, sat for a bit, tried to call Pete, my husband, and slowly caught my breath. Official notice: cell phones will not be a good communication method in an emergency. It was about 30 minutes before a call would go through.
Over the next few hours, I found things that had been knocked over during the earthquake: a penholder, a perfume bottle and a few other small things. Nothing major. Turns out, the epicenter was about 15 miles east, and the quake was a 5.4. Not huge and no real damage done around here. Nonetheless, I have officially been in an earthquake, and will be happy if I never experience another one.