To be honest some of what happened last Saturday after the quake is a blur - I don't remember it all. For example I don't remember any aftershocks that morning - but there must have been - other people remember them.
Some things I do remember. So here's what you can expect if this ever happens to you...
Sirens. Sirens have become commonplace background noise around here. It's only in the last couple of days that they have eased up. Sirens make me sad at the best of time especially ambulance ones.
Aftershocks. Aftershocks aftershocks aftershocks. There have been A LOT. Apparently they may keep going for months. Personally I don't mind them, some people do. I really feel for those people but at least they are getting less and further apart. They will stop one day :-)
Water. Water is a good thing to have. Even if you don't have a survival kit get some water. You may just need it - who would have thought in Christchurch with the best tasting water in the whole damn world we wouldn't be able to drink our tap water. Having some bottled water would have been very handy.
The internet. Man I missed the internet while our power was out. Thank goodness for cell phones!
Phones. It's also a good idea to have a phone that doesn't need to be plugged into a power source. You know, because the power went out! Those old style phones that just need a phone jack. Dig yours out so you know where it is - we did - it was handy!
Comradery. No longer will you have awkward "how's your day" conversations with the supermarket checkout operator. An earthquake is a guaranteed conversation starter. It is suddenly acceptable to talk to total stranger - New Zealanders can be very standoffish and Canterbury got a break from that. We all went through something big. We all have that in common. We have a reason to talk.
Love. I was overwhelmed by the concern the people in my life had for me. Within the first few hours I had friends from over New Zealand and the world enquiring as to how we'd got on and in the following week even more emails and facebook messages. It was amazing and humbling to know how many people care about us. Thank you.
New Zealand. I am so grateful that this happened to me in New Zealand. New Zealand with its not too shabby at all building standards. Sure brick chimneys are a pretty dumb idea here and every second house used to have them - but really for most people the loss of a chimney was the worst that happened and that is pretty awesome. For those who weren't so lucky my thoughts are with you and if there is anything I can do at all to help please let me know :-)