Virginia quake

by M.D. Creekmore on August 23, 2011 · 152 comments

By now, I’m sure most of you have heard about the 5.8 magnitude Virginia quake that triggered the shutdown of two nuclear reactors and caused the evacuation of many buildings in the surrounding areas.

As far as I know no deaths have been reported as a result of the quake.

If you felt the quake or have seen damage that has not reported by the media please share it with us in the comments below…


riverrider August 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

shook the wife a bit, more so because all the phones were down and i was on the road. no damage, unless you count to the cat’s image, as he ran terrified under the bed,LOL! i thought i just hit a rough patch in the road. take care all.

SaratogaPrepper August 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm

It was felt here @ work in Albany, NY. Made the lights sway, a few of the taller building were evacuated. No damage reported.

Jody C August 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm

I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Even though we are 150 mi from the epicenter, AND buffered by the Chesapeake Bay, it sloshed water out of my 45 gal fish tank. My bother who is on the coast of Delaware (even further away) had water from an in-ground state owned water pool/park actually splash out onto the surrounding deck! I don’t know how people in earthquake zones do it, that was frightening.

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I’m a native Californian, and have experienced probably hundreds of quakes in my life. We have a 5.8 earthquake as a matter of routine every year or two. No big deal here. However, the largest quake I’ve ever personally experienced was a 7.1 in Octover 1989 (the Loma Prieta Quake) and that one scared the daylights out of me and I wasn’t even at the epicenter. The difference between a 5.8 and a 7.1 is huge.

Here are a couple of simple tips for those who are concerned about earthquakes, in no particular order:

Don’t hand anything heavy over your bed. That means no mirrors, no pictures, no wallhanging of any type that exceed a few ounces in weight. Those things can fall off during the shaking and literally kill you as you sleep. It’s happened.

Strap your water heater to the studs in the walls using plumber’s tape and screws. This will keep the water heater from toppling and either burning someone, causing a fire, or causing water damage to your home. You don’t want natural gas or propane flowing when there might be sparks or errant electrical lines.

Know how and where to turn off your utilities. If a tool is needed (like a wrench), be sure you dedicate one to the task and keep it in the same place at all times so anybody in the family can find it and turn off the utilities.

If you smell natural gas or propane, evacuate the area. Do not go near downed electric lines.

Try to avoid using the phone since emergency workers will need the wires and the airwaves to coordinate search and rescue.

Keep your EDC on you at all times when you are not at home. It could literally save your life.

Learn to drop, duck, and cover.

breadmomma August 24, 2011 at 1:41 am

I like you remember the Loma Prieta earthquake…was Exec.Sous Chef at the Claremont in Bezerkly when it hit…largest wooden structure on west coast…so it was a creaking and groaning and very little damage…I concur with all of your suggestions for those folks on the East Coast that don’t live with earthquakes every day…earthquakes can be scary..

templar knight August 24, 2011 at 9:50 am

“Try to avoid using the phone…..”

Yep, the New Yorkers took down cell phone service by not taking your advice, Lint. And it was spotty in other areas as well. I did notice that texts sometimes got through when regular phone calls didn’t. I make all my emergency plans assuming there will be no phone service.

Judith August 24, 2011 at 10:01 am

Lint, I have been in the Northridge, Whittier, Big Bear , Hector Mine. And my only advice to anyone is take a deep breath and don’t panic. Especially back East where so many brick buildings are. the facades come falling down and will hit you in the head.
Same with the tile roofs out here. Good Luck to everyone. You all should prepare as much as we do out here. You have the New Madrid staring you in the face, and that one will make this one look like childs play.

Sandyra August 24, 2011 at 11:16 am

I live in California too and like you, I take a 5.8 earthquake in stride. In fact, I’ve even learned to enjoy the ride on those milder earthquakes. It’s amazing how much the earth can move.

I’ve been through a number of 6.8 – 7.1 earthquakes dating back to about 1975 or 76. Those are waaaay different, and for a minute they do scare me.

Your advice, LintPicker, is excellent. Earthquakes often cause loss of power or water services, so it’s a good idea to fill your bathtub with water right after a quake (if you can). And of course, we preppers should already have a stash of potable water.

If you’re prepped for a SHTF scenario, getting through a 5.8 earthquake or greater shouldn’t be a problem.

Mark August 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm


Thank you for your sensible advice. Something that surprised me was the mass-evacuation of buildings – especially in the more urban areas. I’d be afraid of being hit by falling debris… especially in areas with high concentrations of brick or masonry buildings.

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm

We get used to it,I don`t see how people put up with tornados.

templar knight August 23, 2011 at 8:03 pm

riverrider, LynnS, Southern Girl, any reports from the earthquake zone?

Ron August 23, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I felt it up here in Herkimer co. N.Y. I,m above Albany in the middle of the state. I saw the walls on the house shake. Thought I might have to grab the bug out bag

rshnh2o August 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm

My Aunt in Ilion felt it too. Could not believe that when she posted it on fb. It’s unbelieveable.

Hollis August 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I live in Wilmington, DE and work in Dover DE. We felt it. I was saying a few minutes earlier that I had a headache, then I was walking over to the printer when the quake happen and I thought I was getting dizzy from the headache. Then I noticed the ceiling fan moving and it wasn’t turned on. Now MD… what does one do to prepare for that? Something like that was never on my radar considering where I live.

@JodyC – where on the eastern shore do you live? I grew up outside of Salisbury.

M.D. Creekmore August 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm


Prepare as you would for any other natural disaster.

George August 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I submit that the first few hours or even days of a natural disaster may be more about putting out fires, shutting off damaged utilities, first aid, and rescuing our family and neighbors from the rubble. I concur that food and water supplies and being able to cook on a fire is important but lets not overlook those first few days without 9-1-1.

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm

This is one of the things that convince me to prepare for ALL emergencies. I live about 400 feet above the normal flood plane but as I was helping a friend prep his property for flood we also preped mine (just not as severly). A year later when a (I swear on this) beaver dam busted the other six house around me were partially flooded, while mine (that had a 3 foot burm around it) was fine. Prep for as much as possible.

Just sayin…

jjmurphy August 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

The Raleigh/Durham got a good shake, but no damage that I’ve seen or heard about. Was at home and it felt like a wave passed under the house and then everything shook for about 15 seconds. Certainly got my attention! Now I get to prepare for a hurricane.

riverrider August 24, 2011 at 9:28 am

jj, prep well for irene. i’ve watcheda lot of storms and i think the talking heads are wrong on the path of this one. take care.

DC Josh August 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I did not feel it as I was in the Metro taking the train to an appointment. When I got out, everyone was evacuated outside of their buildings. It messed up the commute like I have never seen before.

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Traffic …In DC….Surely not …:P

Sundance WMC August 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm

The lights went out momentarily in the warehouse/distribution center I work at in middle South Carolina….generator kicked in for a few minutes. Did not realize there was an earthquake as the darn forklifts running around, and the conveyor systems shake the place anyway.

jwall August 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm

felt it at work about four hrs south of richmond in NC. thought it was the train coming by the building I work in….until the people on the phoneconf. with us in maryland said they felt it too.

Sheri (IN) August 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Felt the floor move in central IN. The building I work in is 2 mil sq ft of concrete and we shook for a few seconds.

riverrider August 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm

just had an aftershock. a little weird to say the least. no damage.

Lea August 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Yep, we felt it pretty strong here in north central NC. It was rather unnerving at the time until we figured out what it was. The biggest effect reported around here is that phone lines were so overloaded that debit/credit cards would not work. All the ore reason to carry cash.

Ohio River Hobbit August 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I certainly felt the earthquake at work in Huntington WV today right around 2pm EST and the entire office building was evacuated within a few minutes of the clearly perceivable tremors. Started in the inner ear and then went beyond to physically moving back and forth in your seat. My co-worker thought that I and another co-worker were shaking his cube wall furniture at first when I pointed out that it was an earthquaker. I work on the 5th floor and the tremor lasted approximately 90 seconds with a shaking (10s)-pause-increased shaking (10seconds)-pause-even more shaking or lateral translation of the office building which is steel w/brick facade and then a ramp down the same cycle. Most prominent earthquake/tremor I’ve felt and I’m 40 yrs old. Not strong enough to toss any wall hangings or books, but enough to detect in your inner-ear on the first 10-second cycle. The attention getting part was the pause and more shaking, with increasing movement or force in each of 3-4 cycles up to a crescendo and then it ramped down the same way it went up. The 3rd or 4th cycle where it peaked had me concerned and asking how strong would it get and how quickly could I get out of the building. My wife called and asked if I felt the earthquake within the first minute, she was upset and we decided that she needed to step outside our 2-story home on the beautiful Ohio River until the tremors subsided. Pretty incredible experience considering how far we are from the epicenter at approximately 200 plus miles, suppose the energy reverberated thru the Appalachian mountains along some geologic pathway down thru this region?? I’m an engineer and studied a little seismology for structural design but never fully got into the geology of earthquake energy translation and the geologic pathways for such. It certainly got me thinking about the Creator, my family, and some of the things I’ve learned over the past several months reading this site. I won’t say my life flashed before my eyes, but I was headed there quick had the tremors increased in strength. I’ve begun to put some supplies up (food, water, ammo, etc.), and it’s experiences like this that remind you you’re not crazy in doing so, just common sense and some innate survival instinct a few of us have. In a massive natural disaster, society breaks down in 3-days or less, and voi-la, TSHTF is here…….

fanbacle August 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Was on my couch and saw the walls of my new house sway. I live 30 miles from DC! Made me think of Lee Goldberg’s The Walk.

riverrider August 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm

this has been a test. this has only been a test of your emergency preparation. if this was a real emercency, you’ld be screwed. no cell phone or landline. fema is outside their own building, looking in. new york is hogging the airwaves like its 9/11…. were YOU ready?

Kerevus August 23, 2011 at 10:38 pm

best comment to date re the quake

riverrider August 24, 2011 at 9:52 am

k, guess you n me are the only ones that got it:)

BIG D August 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

got it, too bad no one in Washington believes it

BIG D August 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm


Michigan Prepper August 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm

My 17 yr old, movie nut, daughter just told me she is worried. She said after Colorado and now this it is just like 2012. I asked her if she thought our rettreat was safe in northern Michigan? She replies, it is by the water? I told her maybe we should start building an Ark. She says, and stock it full of “moutain house” food! Had to smile.

BIG D August 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm

get her to start while this is hot, so you can keep reminding her about what can happen, welcomed her to the team

sam August 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm

i work on a 6th floor building in detroit. the shaking was very scary, not becuase it was that violent, but becuase it was unexpected. no damage reported, but very strange.

Just Me August 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

We felt it where we are, only about 40 miles from the epicenter. It was a pretty strong shake and it didn’t seem to want to stop. No damage but one interesting thing to note was that in the next two hours after the quake it was difficult to use your cell phone or land line phones. Everyone was calling people and it was bogging down the phone system.

Another thing to note was that in the couple hours after the quake people were not driving safely. They were one their cell phones in their cars and they were driving carelessly. This caused a bunch of unnecessary accidents in the area. While there wasn’t much damage in the surrounding areas (most damage was at the epicenter) people were “excited” to talk about it and to find out if their family and friends felt it. It happened just before I got off of work and the drive home was more dangerous than the event itself.

I learned two things today: 1. phones shouldn’t be used to contact others right away, only for emergencies. Use other forms of communication or wait to contact friends to chat. Facebook and email were great for this. 2. if at all possible don’t get in your car right after an event like this. Stay put for a while to let others calm down.

OhioPrepper August 24, 2011 at 12:30 am

Even with the cell phone congestion, text messages can generally get through, since they contain very little data by comparison and can be “squirted out” so to speak during any minor lull in the network traffic.

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Don’t know If the other carriers have this but Verizon has a web window for texting –
- Remember every tool in the toolbox is helpful.

Just sayin…

OhioPrepper August 24, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen it before. The other option that I use is a simple email to: (e.g., keeping the message to less than 140 characters. A reply to the email will present as an email back to your email client.
I’m relatively sure that the other carriers have similar capability.

HandAxeProMan August 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Family and friends from NC said they vibrated for about 15 seconds. No damage or injuries reported. The 5.5 here in Colorado near the New Mexico border wasn’t even felt here (about 180 miles away).

templar knight August 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm

HandAxeProMan, my son is stationed at Ft. Carson at Colorado Springs, and he didn’t even know about the earthquake in Trinidad. He slept right through it.

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I was taking a nap during the loma prieta earthquake and I thought that I was having a seizure at first til I saw the walls moving.

OhioPrepper August 24, 2011 at 12:34 am

This is a repost from the, “What did you do to prep this week” thread from a few minutes ago.
As I understand it, there are fault lines all the way up and down the Appalachian range, but they behave differently than those in the Rockies. The Appalachians are significantly older and the underlying material is compressed much denser than the younger Rockies. This means that faults slipping are a much rarer event, but also means that the waves travel farther which is why the VA quake was felt clear up in NY and out here in OH. The Rockies are younger and less compressed, meaning the faults slip more often but don’t affect as large an area.
That is most likely why you didn’t feel it.

Steve in Co. August 24, 2011 at 2:06 am

You may have been in bed at the time, but in fact it was felt hear. Although it was brief, kind of like a small wave– it did come through. For the record–i strongly believe we have the same Mayor

axelsteve August 24, 2011 at 2:37 am

Living in California most of my life I can say that a 5. something quake is no biggie however being over on the eastern part of the country.It probably shook them up like a major tornado would shake people up in California.Took my son shooting today. We had a good time and I picked up some useful brass.

BIG D August 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I live in NE South Carolina and felt it, of course I was sitting down, affected the inner ear a little not bad, already prepared as can be for MISS IRENE.

Caoimhin August 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

The 5.3 New Mexico/ Colorado quake at 17: 20 hrs MT and several 4.7-4.9 have followed. I was standing in line in Bernalillo to get my chile roasted. We never felt a thing. We are about 180 miles south of Raton NM. Just like in VA an no fault zone quake.

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 24, 2011 at 7:19 pm

You got your chili roasted? Did that leave a mark?

OhioPrepper August 24, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I don’t know where your mind is, but for one brief moment, mine was in the same place – LOL

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

OP, in the words of Dan Quayle, ” A mind is a terrible thing to lose. “

Ron August 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Caoimhin, my NM neighbor. You are on the Rio Grande Rift. Runs from just south of Juarez MX up and into CO. Raton is just a little east of that rift. Remember, NM had active volcanos just 3,000 years ago. Thats just yesterday to a rock.

chonte August 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I live in montgomery county. Union station lost portions of it’s roof and i heard of some minor damage to houses. this is the second quake in a little over a year and this one was worse than the last. just makes you think, when the next one will be and how strong. the second it started i was ready to bug out, but it was over so quick i didn’t need to. however i was so comforted to know that my BOB was right there by the front door. im pretty new to the survival world but i have a 20 month old daughter who is my reason for prepping! now we are bracing for hurricane Irene this weekend so i’ll be stepping up the preps before then, batteries water ect. any tips for us apartment dwellers?

kathleen August 23, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I wasn’t near the earthquake but… What I did see (on the news) did surprise me. I saw hundreds of people that had been evacuated from their buildings, standing around, (mostly in business attire) and only 2 people with backpacks. Want to know how many people are prepared for a disaster? Percentage wise? Not many ! 2 people with BOBS out of hundreds.

michael c August 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Two survivors are more then plenty to re-populate the world…

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 24, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Not if they are the same sex! DUH!!!!!!!! Or am I wrong about that?

templar knight August 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Lint, I’m pretty sure you’re right, but did you have to bring it up? I’m thinking Adam and Eve here, and you come up with Adam and Steve. Aghhhhhhh!!!!!!

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm

(Hanging my head in shame….) TK, I can’t help it – I live in the Land of Fruits and Nuts. It’s sort of a reflex to point out the differences in the genders, somebody’s got to do it.

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Actually for genetics wise ….its not.

Just sayin…

OhioPrepper August 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm


rshnh2o August 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I was 120 miles south of the epicenter, just an hour from Richmond and we were really shaken. I live near an AFB and wondered if they had been hit by some sort of bomb. I couldn’t imagine anything else shaking our house that violently. The last time my heart stopped beating like that was when the jets took off from the AFB to head to DC on 9/11. The windows all rattled and we were terrified that they were headed to war.

My mind immediately went to terrorism because 9/11 was so burned in my memory that day. I was paralyzed, no matter how prepared I fantasize I might be. This was a real wakeup call for me. Now we’re getting ready for the hurricane. I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone!

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm

So I have one question, anybody can answer – and nobody will say anything…

Who ordered the total simulation for this month….I mean really east coast wide earthquake and a hurricane…..Come on …. ;)

Just sayin….

Grits August 25, 2011 at 8:20 am

I’m just waiting for the plague of locusts.

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm
riverrider August 25, 2011 at 9:29 am

its obama’s jobs plan.

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm

for shovel ready jobs

LynnS August 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Hey Anonymous, the latest earth-shaking experiences are attributed to Obama’s Fault.

Think I’ve been calling him The Dark Lord without reason???

Anonymous August 27, 2011 at 8:31 am

Think Irene trump’s that…

VAdawn August 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Richmond, VA was definitely in “duck and cover” mode today. A lot of my colleagues didn’t realize what was happening even though the building shook for at least 45 seconds.

Just Me is right; none of us in Central Virginia had any way to find out what had happened or contact anyone as our smartphones instantly turned into very expensive paperweights!

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

Phone lines will go dead from overload during almost any large-scale emergency. That is one reason I have a police scanner that runs off the car battery by way of a power port. A handheld scanner is also good, but won’t work so well in the car if you have to bugout. With a scanner, you can also listen to what’s happening in your neighborhood regarding reports of burglaries, prowlers, etc.

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm

I am suprisedd that you do not have a day flashlight scanner combo unit.

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

It’s in the shop for repairs.

riverrider August 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm

hey lint, i figured out that i have a daytime flashlight!!!! yep. it works when i test it out before the lights go out, but every time i go to use the darn thing, it won’t come on…. made in china:(

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm

rr, I’ve got a couple of flashlights like that myself. :(

Try this one. Reliable, inexpensive, versatile.

LynnS August 25, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Sprint’s Nextel system was working. In fact, I used it to call my husband to let him know (like DUH, how could he not have felt it?). He had just gone outside of his on-site trailer to see which wizenheimers were shaking his trailer. Until I beeped him, he didn’t know it was a quake.

Sometime those tiny data packets are able to squeeze through and Nextel held in there while the phone lines, in general, were in major overload.

Got some walkie-talkies or a Nextel service?

blindshooter August 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I worked in our office/shop in Raleigh all day and never noticed anything at all. Our folks in the front of the building said they felt it and could see the windows moving in the front of the building. I thought they were joking until I heard the news….

Southern Girl August 23, 2011 at 11:58 pm

We are fine, had a few things fall off the walls and shelves but no major damage. The dog went bat-poo crazy a few seconds before it hit. He put his paws over his ears and made a weird noise, then tried to get in the room where the food is stored. I was saying what’s up with you crazy dog and than the house started to shake. We were, ” Wow, was that an earthquake?” We learned two things today…we had an earthquake dog and the room with the food storage is the place to go… Now all we have to worry about is a Hurricane that seems to want to visit us next. Made sure my daughter who lives about 45 minutes away was alright, (on facebook), people were texting, because the phones were either down or jammed. My husband who is out of town was trying to call and we didn’t reach all our family until late in the afternoon. People were crazy and the stores are a mess, between the earthquake and the storm coming. Drove pass the Wal-Mart and Sams, not a place I plan on being. Love having my supplies!!

Copperhead August 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Hope your visitor will change her mind and go out to sea, Southern Girl. Glad you are prepared and that your puppies will give you a warning for earthquakes. Prayers for the next few days. Be safe…Blessings!

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Three words

Protect the Dog

Just Sayin…

Ron August 24, 2011 at 12:02 am

I just have to wonder… how many people have ever took the time to actually check the seismec history of their region?
Locally I know people who depended on someone else to tell them there things, as if they would have been listening. Since the active fault here has not killed anyone during the last couple of hundred years it might as well not exist. They think I am joking when I tell them whats under thier house.
Nothing like reality to get someones attention.

Ellen August 24, 2011 at 12:09 am

Earthquakes sure are strange things. The actual movement of the earth takes away your ability to use your body as you normally would.
I cannot remember where it was centered but in the late 1970′s probably the “9″ number a quake came out of the mountain range here in California. We felt some swaying then heard this rumble kinda like thunder muffled we four headed for a doorway and then the earth moved under our feet. It moved like the ground was alive and it would undulate under us, we were up then down in smooth waves. It was not one of those jerky, shaky, sharp ones. It lasted for what seemed more than a minute. I have no idea what magnitude it was.
Just anyone that is in one be careful. They always come as a surprise. And there is no party attached.

Huckleberry August 24, 2011 at 12:25 am

I was at work (in public safety) about 35 miles from the epicenter and saw the onset of the panic first hand. Nothing to report really, as it appears little damage was done. I really don’t understand everyone’s need to get all worked up about it. Nothing I or any of my friends and family have experienced seems much different than the accounts I’ve read of those who are over 100 miles away.

I will ditto that staying off of the phone lines can be helpful. Also, don’t call 911 if you have no structural damage or injuries and your only reason for calling is to make sure that 911 knows about the earthquake. They already know.

Oscar August 24, 2011 at 10:42 am

col (c as in chuckle). Ya know, it never fails to amaze me that it’s necessary to remind people not to make frivolous 911 calls. Like you say Huck, they already know!

AZ Rookie Prepper August 24, 2011 at 1:03 am

Hope all are well and no damage to any of your homes/businesses.

Worrisome August 24, 2011 at 1:29 am

We California types understand completely! But anything under about a 6.l isn’t grounds for getting excited. Were I sitting down when this one occurred, I would have stayed put most probably. Had it been longer or stronger I would have gotten up to take a look out to see which way the lake was sloshing so I could decide whether I was gonna go stand on the stairs or go out the front door. Lint mentioned some standard California thought patterns when it comes to living through them? Another one is not to position any bed under a window. For years after Loma Prieta, I kept a whole disaster kit in a 55 gallon trash can along side the house. Where I live now, that would not work so well. There was an earthquake in Napa in 2001 or 2002……….my daughter and her family and the whole neighborhood got woken by a good shaker..things crashed around………..the whole group got out their sleeping bags, and turned the rest of the night into camp out in the cul de sac. Surrounding the area with their cars so no one could drive into the area and over them. Saved the effort of checking for damage until daylight. I was close to Loma Prieta and I was close to Northridge. Truth be told, you either have time to move or it is too strong and too quick to do much but take the ride. I have family all over the DC/Maryland & Virgina area……..everyone is fine. One broken piece of pottery……

Lynda August 24, 2011 at 5:14 am

Although we felt nothing, others did here in MA in Framingham, Oxford, Worcester and the Brookfields where I live. My dog was skittish, refused to stay outside and the nieeighbors’ dogs were in a frenzy.

Please let me recommend a great book called I’ts A Disaster…and what are you going to do about it? by Bill and Janet Liebsch. It covers all manner of events, small to large-scale and a good investment for about ten bucks.

DeadGuy August 24, 2011 at 7:10 am

I certainly felt it, since I live within 20 miles of the epicenter. I was in the basement at the time and everything shook for a few seconds. By the time I realized it was an earthquake, it was over.

There were a lot of things in town that closed to clean up messes, but no real damage to anything.

Bitsy August 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

I’m about 100 miles NW of D.C. I felt it here. Just a small tremor… First thought someone was driving a bulldozer into the house, then thought someone from another dimension had just transported into my home office (yeah, I watch too much sci fi). Hubby said the spastic reaction of his co-workers was far greater than the tremors that they felt. lol

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I think the Scifi thought is alot more fun…

Just sayin…

BadVooDooDaddy August 24, 2011 at 8:10 am

I live in Earthquake Country here in the Rockies so a 5.8 is just a tremor. I am sure that if you live in an area that is not know for earthquakes it was quite a shock. We were drilled in school all the time to take cover under a desk and to cover our heads with our arms. We then evacuated the building to the playground. We live with the threat of earthquakes all the time(That’s how the mountains here were formed) so we would have had something to talk about around the water cooler for a few hours after the quake. We are very overdue for a very large quake, something on the magnitude of 7.5 to 7.8 and we have a very large fault line that runs along the mountains to the east. Here we prepare for quakes all the time. Glad everyone is safe and sound so far out there.

riverrider August 24, 2011 at 9:50 am

bvdd, all the cali folks say that, but they have to realize two things. first the geology of the area is much denser than the west. therefore tremors are amplified over wide areas. out west the geology is fractured and absorbs the tremors to a degree. second, for 40 years or so of study, the geologists here have said this area is steady moving, not hanging up and building pressure. therefore we were told that nothing over a 2 or 3 was possible here. 5.8 is a rude awaking to the fact that they don’t know crap about whats going on in mother earth. still, i would hate to be in any cali quake, whatever the scale. take care brother.

BIG D August 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm

no man can out think GOD, he is trying to warn us to get ready and no body is listening, (ok a few of us)

riverrider August 24, 2011 at 12:50 pm

10-4 on that one.

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Amen big D! The bible says it and I believe it.Tough shit to the people who don`t.

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Amen, brother.

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Big D – I think your right…I don’t want to walk up and be told I sent a earthquake (and not in cali) how much clearer do I have to be…..

Just sayin…

LynnS August 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Riverrider, never trust what the Feds say….

riverrider August 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm

lynn, and never get outta da boat.

Mother Earth August 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

I live in southwest Ohio and it felt like someone was grabbing my chair from behind and the lights were moving. Coming from California it was no big deal but definitely unexpected!

Virginiawoman August 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

I live about 30 miles from Mineral, VA (epicenter of this quake) and we had no damage. Definitely felt it, though. Had a couple of pictures go sideways on the walls and a few boxed items (popcorn, rice mixes, etc.) fall off the pantry shelves. There was an additional 4.4 tremor around 8:00 p.m. last night which made my heart race a little bit. Haha.

My neighbors are still freaked out.

riverrider August 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm

i’m amazed so many fellow virginians are lurking here. you guys should join in the regular conversation. i’m sure you have a lot to offer. take care.

VALadyPrepperNurse August 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

OK, riverrider, I will speak up (lol!) and not be a lurker tonight! I live in Richmond, but I was in a meeting in a hospital in Birmingham AL when it hit. I knew nothing about the quake until I got to the airport in B’ham at 3PM Central time and I saw 2 texts from my daughters telling me they were alright. I’m like…. what?? I hate that feeling when you are so far from home and something bad has happened! Daughter 1 was at work in office building in Richmond and really, really felt it, building shook for what seemed like forever, she said, and everyone was freaked out. Daughter 2 lives in DC but was visiting in upstate NY and she also felt it. I got home around 11PM ET, and soon felt an aftershock that made me feel like I lost my equilibrium. Hate that feeling!
Anyway, I love reading all the articles and comments on this blog, and thank you riverrider for encouraging me to speak up!

templar knight August 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Dang, here I had a son in DC for three years, made 7 trips there during that time, and after he leaves in June, I learn of all these Virginia folks. I’m flabbergasted.

riverrider August 25, 2011 at 9:25 am

vlpn, welcome!! my sister is editor in chief of the chesterfield newspaper. my wife is a nurse too:) keep up the good work and stay with us. i’m sure we could use some of your medical insight. all this time i thought we were alone in va. if this is any indication, M.D. has quite a hidden following!

VALadyPrepperNurse August 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

riverrider, thanks! I used to be a surgical nurse but now my expertise is more on using computers and software in the operating room. I’ll likely get more out of this relationship that I can give back, but I have been a prepper for awhile with a prepper mindset for even longer, so maybe I can contribute in some small way!

MD, you have an excellent blog! I feel like I already know so many of you because I have been reading about you all for so long!

M.D. Creekmore August 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm


Thank you, but the people here make the blog great and I’m glad you have chosen to be a part of it.

LynnS August 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm

All these Virginians here….my my…..


riverrider August 25, 2011 at 7:06 pm

lynn, kinda gives you a little more hope for the future of Va, doesn’t it?

montana heathen August 24, 2011 at 10:48 am

My father and uncle live on an old farm in orange county 15minutes from mineral. It knocked the shades off the chandelier lights and my uncles polo in the toilet. My dad was sleeping and said he thought one of those big earthmovers was on the fam outside his house. The whole house shook back and forth violently. My brother in law im Richmond had tipped pictures broken. everyone there I know lives in a house built before the civil war. In DC area my friends who work far below ground in government buildings were shook up pretty badbut my aunt in Danville Va was on the 3rd floor of a solid brick building and didn’t feel a thing. She is.also from california so take that into account. Several friends in Dc had kids freak out but other than tipped pictures nothing bad. My sister in law works for the state library. She said mineral library was closed till they could have it assessed for damage but nothing was appearant yesterday. The local nuclear plant close to mineral shut down 2 reactors as a safety

montana heathen August 24, 2011 at 10:48 am

My father and uncle live on an old farm in orange county 15minutes from mineral. It knocked the shades off the chandelier lights and my uncles polo in the toilet. My dad was sleeping and said he thought one of those big earthmovers was on the fam outside his house. The whole house shook back and forth violently. My brother in law im Richmond had tipped pictures broken. everyone there I know lives in a house built before the civil war. In DC area my friends who work far below ground in government buildings were shook up pretty badbut my aunt in Danville Va was on the 3rd floor of a solid brick building and didn’t feel a thing. She is.also from california so take that into account. Several friends in Dc had kids freak out but other than tipped pictures nothing bad. My sister in law works for the state library. She said mineral library was closed till they could have it assessed for damage but nothing was appearant yesterday. The local nuclear plant close to mineral shut down 2 reactors as a safety precaution within 40 minutes of the quake

Sharon August 24, 2011 at 10:57 am

Was sitting at my ‘puter, all four dogs started growling and barking, then I felt the quake. I live in southern PA not too far from the Chesapeake Bay. At least now I know I have an earthquake ‘alarm system’.

riverrider August 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

sharon, weird how some dogs react, mine slept thru it. the cat went berserk tho. the deer in the area came out into the fields to have a look.

joey August 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

This event was provided a good preview of how much things will suck in a real earthquake or similar event. I was at my home in Arlington Va which is about 80 miles from the epicenter and it really was not that bad. It was shocking for a few minutes just because I had never experienced an earth quake but it was nothing to panic about. I wouldent say people were panicing but they were close. Everyone left work at once(causing major delays) and cell service was clogged.

Mark August 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm

No preview. This was a “real earthquake”, at least for those of us in the midwest or east coast. And, the vast majority of people (not everyone) reacted exactly as expected – somewhat panicky, confused, and without direction. This was a PRIME learning opportunity, and the unfortunate fact is this will be quickly forgotten.

Sandyra August 24, 2011 at 11:22 am

The main thing this quake reinforces for me is that I should be prepared for anything – even if it isn’t common in my area.

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 24, 2011 at 11:52 am

Well, what’s next? Hurrican Irene is moving towards South Carolina and how many people are going to be shopping for supplies at the last minute? How many will call 911 and ask stupid questions? Will the highways be jammed by people leaving too late? These disasters happen year after year and yet there are still thousands of people who just don’t get it. Perhaps this is one way to cull the herd.

Stay safe all you East Coast folks, we’ll need your help when our turn for disasters arrives in September – forest fires.

May God protect you from harm.

BIG D August 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm

thanks, and my wife went to the dollar store to get paper plates and cups, that’s all, got most of it ready now, can not wait for the last moment like most folks around here

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Be safe, and please tell us about it when it’s over.

Copperhead August 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife for your safety during this hurricane. Glad you are so prepared!

riverrider August 26, 2011 at 9:35 am

lint, thanks for the flashlight link above. you shouldn’t be feeding my addiction tho:) that light is a good one, must….have….flash….light……

Alex(Ontario) August 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I’m in Toronto so I felt a bit of shaking but it was not even enough to rattle the dishes so I’m fine.

riverrider August 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm

makes one wonder what the new madrid will be like….don’t listen to the talking heads. irene is BIG and could go anywhere she darn well pleases. sic semper tyrannis.

Caoimhin August 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Check out
Shows you all quake activity US or World, also has maps and tons of info.

Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Good Link


michael c August 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Remember, the quake that just hit was created by forces “external” to the world. Our planet (and the whole solar system) are moving into alignment with the galactic plane. As we move in closer; this planet will be influenced by gravitational forces from the whole galaxy.

We “line up” with the galactic plane on Dec. 22, 2012. I mention this as a warning to those in “really” active areas that the quakes will get worse.

Our Sun is also influenced by gravity and is showing it. (Of course, it is also having “middle aged” problems – running low on Hydrogen and having to burn the first amounts of Helium)

OhioPrepper August 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Say what?
The person standing next to you has more gravitational influence than any other object in the solar system or the galaxy, with the possible exception of our moon. That old inverse square law just keeps getting in the way of these kinds of assertions.

Ron August 25, 2011 at 12:07 am

Dec. 22, 2012? I thought that was when the Mayans predict Bret Farve finally retires from the NFL.

riverrider August 25, 2011 at 9:19 am

ron, LOL, no thats when he’s coming out of retirement,…go packers!

michael c August 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm

The fact that we are having “more” earthquakes suggests an external change. The earth has not changed and neither has the Sun (as far as creating earthquakes) The inverse square law applies at distance – our solar system is “inside” of the galaxy and thus still accountable (gravitationally bound) to it. It is a fact that all the local planets (including Pluto) lined up could only move the earth 1 inch. Our galaxy can only move our world 2 feet in eddies created by the dust in the galaxy. That’s right – dust, at the galactic plane. It does rain down on the earth so, it is close enough.

But, when our world moves 2 feet – we get earthquakes.

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

We are having more earthquakes and floods and etc because we are in the last days.Our dark lord is proof of that.

michael c August 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm

btw, I felt nothing during the quake…

david blackburn August 24, 2011 at 2:27 pm

felt it a little here in southwest va , strange to feel an earthquake here in the mountains. we also had a tornado come through earlier this year, never thought that would happen either.

Grits August 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I’m in the very southeastern corner of Virginia. I was outside working in my garden when it hit and I never felt a thing! My kids said they felt the house shaking and rattling and chairs were bouncing around a bit. No damage though.

There is a nuclear reactor near the epicenter that shut down for safety reasons. Makes me wonder how well any of the East coast reactors would be able to withstand a stronger quake. We just don’t build around here with earthquakes in mind. Scary thought.

Now to brace for Miss Irene. It is supposed to stay just to the east of us but we will be getting torrential rain and very high winds. Probably a storm surge as well. We’ll be spending the next couple of days battening down the hatches!

Lint Picker (Northern California) August 24, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Wishing you well during Irene. Got your plywood and other supplies ready?

Copperhead August 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Hope it won’t be too bad for you and your family, Grits. Your safety will be in my prayers.

Grits August 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Thank you Lint Picker and Copperhead.

Unfortunately, it’s a no-go on the plywood. Will definitely have to rectify that in the future. But we’re not going anywhere near a hardware store right now. People are nuts!

I did a quick check on the other supplies and I think we are in pretty good shape. I still have stuff left over from hurricane Isabel in 2003.

I just told my boys they had to scrub the bathtubs so we could fill them up with water if necessary. You’d think I had asked them to parade around in pink tutus.

Please be safe everyone!

OhioPrepper August 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm

It’s probably too late this time around, but a “Water Bob” would save you the scrubbing and keep the water potable.

Grits August 25, 2011 at 8:29 am

I had never heard of a water bob so I looked it up. It appears to be some sort of plastic bladder that fits into the tub. After it’s filled you can siphon out the water for drinking.

Hmmm…interesting. I may put that on my list of preps to buy.

Thanks for the tip!

riverrider August 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm

grits, irene is taking a turn for the worse, like i predicted. get out of dodge if you can. take a mountain vacation:)

Grits August 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

riverrider, I’m seriously considering bugging out…I’ve been through hurricanes before, but this is the first time one will be going right over my head. I’m 14 miles inland though and not right near the beach but I admit, I’m more than a little worried.

Will play it by ear and see how things look Friday morning.

LynnS August 24, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Peru was just hit with a 7.0 earthquake 2 hours ago.

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm

wow Lynns. That is a big one down there beacus everyone builds with un reinforced mud down there

Auntie_Em August 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm

FWIW—All three notable quakes in the continental US yesterday were in the 37th to 38th degree of lattitude. (And another one not mentioned on the news was in Mammoth Lakes, CA at 38 degrees lattitude.) One was at 37.9 degrees lattitude (Virginia), one at 38 degrees lattitude ( San Francisco) and in Colorado it was at 37 degrees lattitude. You could almost draw a line straight through them from coast to coast. I wonder if that lattitude has any significance?

LynnS August 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Auntie Em, The USGS geologists claim that the quakes are not physically connected in anyway.

Your note on common latitude is quite intriguing, regardless of what has been made public.

mike 1960 August 25, 2011 at 3:08 am

I was at work when it hit and I felt nothing. I guess the reason why was I was pushing my tool cart with a lot of tools; over tiles and focused on finding the problem with one of our lines. The plant noise and wearing ear plugs may have contributed some also. Others in the plant felt it and I think this is the most interesting part. The aftermath in the smoking area with the average blue collar worker non-preppers; listening to the comments.

One woman, four floors up, instantly knew what was going on. She was in a meeting. She leaped out of her chair screaming EARTHQUAKE! She flew out of the room and went outside. She received a lot of razzing in the smoking area. Come to find out this was her third; with her previous one being a 7.2. Nobody laughed after that. Nobody else had a clue here what was going on and they were freaked out totally.

Earthquakes of any magnitude are extremely rare here in this area. The first I was made aware of was a 3.8 last year on July 16th. Seems to be a pattern developing even though I slept through it. I read somewhere that the area is now being known as Obama’s Fault.

My fiancee works in DC. The MARC train traveled at half its normal speed as did the Metro. She arrived safely but the people at the train stations didn’t have a real good mindset and these are the white collar workers. She had no incidents and we are about 120 miles north of the epicenter.

VALadyPrepperNurse August 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

I’m pretty sure it was Bush’s Fault ;-)

axelsteve August 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm

The dark lord inheireted this mess from the previous adminastration.

M.D. Creekmore August 25, 2011 at 4:14 pm


When is going to cut spending and do something about it – pointing fingers for the past three years hasn’t seemed to help?

riverrider August 25, 2011 at 7:11 pm

no, its TDL’s jobs plan. knock everything down and pay haliburton to build it back.

Grits August 25, 2011 at 8:35 am

We’re still getting aftershocks. There was a 4.5 early this morning.

Terri August 25, 2011 at 11:32 am

I live near Fort Detrick , Maryland , and I did not feel the earthquake. Maybe because I hung a crucifix on my door last year. Iwould not have known it ever happened until my neighbors asked me, did you feel it? Feel what. I survived and didn’t know it.

Gayle August 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

I found the following website, the US Geological Survey, which gives a history of each state’s seismic activity. I looked up Florida and was surprised to learn that we’ve had earthquakes in the past. Here’s the link if anyone is interested.

I will be praying for you folks up in North Carolina and Virginia.

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