Yesterday morning, Southcentral Alaska was rocking and rolling, to the tune of a 6.2 earthquake centered in the Mat-Su Valley. Facebook and Twitter could barely keep up with the posts from everyone sharing their stories. Text messages were sent at lightning speeds.
Then, as the news made its way out of Alaska - thanks to social media, everything is immediate - the phone calls from panicked relatives on the East Coast started right up. "Is everyone OK?" "How is your house?" "Weren't you scared?"
The easy answer is, "We got this. We're Alaskans."
Yes, earthquakes can be scary, and yes, yesterday's was a doozy that did get our nerves up a little bit. But the reality is that earthquakes happen all the time in Alaska, and it's just something that you roll with, quite literally. Earthquakes are something our engineers and builders keep in mind when designing and constructing buildings. It's just an Alaska thing.
Alaska is unique in so many ways, and Alaskans have a different pace to living than our friends from the Lower 48. If I'm headed out to my favorite trout fishing area and I see a "bear spotted nearby" sign posted, I'm still going, but I'll be aware. Non-Alaskans would probably freak out at that. For us, it's just a different way of life. I respect bears, but I'm not going to let the remote possibility of meeting one in the woods stop my plans. On the same token, just because there's going to be an earthquake at some point, I'm not going to not live in Alaska.
This state is huge, wild and free. Earthquakes are just part of living here. They are a part of our past (the devastating 1964 earthquake), and will be part of our future. They are a small part of living a big Alaska life, and a little shaking under our feet every now and then isn't enough to scare us off. Because we've got this. We're Alaskans.