Yesterday’s earthquake shook up folks on the East Coast pretty good. (Look, you smug Californians: It was scary. And if one more of you sends me a shot of those damned lawn chairs, I’ll scream. WE DON’T HAVE LAWNS HERE, OKAY?) But more than anything, it was a big jolt of reality: If a massive trembler struck, far too many of us would know far too little about what to do.
So here’s a Quake Quiz to test your seismic IQ. Designed by Words Pictures Ideas for the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, it uses cute, quirky interactive graphics to examine whether you know how to protect yourself in six hypothetical disaster scenarios.
The site offers up some handy-dandy survival tips, too. You learn, for instance, that if you’re in bed during an earthquake, you want to cover your head with a pillow and stay put. That’s news to me. I always thought you were supposed to head for the closest doorway.
Okay, so some of the tips don’t apply terribly well outside of California. To wit: There’s an entire section on what to do if you’re at the beach. I doubt I’m alone when I say I’ve barely seen a beach since I moved to the East Coast. Also: If a quake hits when you’re on public transportation, the site advises you to, “Stay in your seat and protect your head and neck with your arms.” Who ever gets a seat on the New York City subway?
Whooooaaaaa!!! Evvvvverything isss shaaaakinggggg!!! Now what do you do…
All in all, though, you can learn a lot from the site, whether you’re a quake vet in San Francisco or a jittery newbie in New York. Have at it. It’s knowledge that won’t go to waste — especially if these guys are worth their Tudor bonnets.