I Was in the Napa Valley Earthquake

Gretchen Rubin
APTOPIX California Earthquake
Getty ImagesDevastation from the Napa Valley earthquake on Sunday, August 24.



I had a profound experience Sunday. My husband and I, and much of my family, were in Napa Valley for my cousin's wedding. At 3:20 a.m., I was lying in bed awake, because the time change meant that my body considered it past my usual wake-up time of 6:00.

As I was lying there, I felt the earthquake hit. My husband woke up right away, and we lay there clutching each other. Neither one of us said a word.

By chance, I'd just had a conversation with my sister and brother-in-law about earthquakes - they live in Los Angeles so have experienced them before. My sister had told me that bed was a fairly safe place to be, and my brother-in-law had commented that the modern codes had done a lot to help buildings withstand earthquakes, and that information was reassuringly in the back of my mind as this was happening.