Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re long overdue for a massive, devastating, life-altering earthquake. Like, it could happen at ANY TIME. Up and down the west coast, really, no one is safe. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle… major cities that are one tectonic plate shift away from sinking into the Pacific Ocean. The question on our lips is… what happens if the big one strikes while you’re sipping cappuccino at your favorite cafe?
It’s always a good idea to prepare yourself for natural disasters. They can happen in an instant and if you’re not ready? You’re putting yourself in a lot of danger. We’re going to assume you’ve got your ducks in a row in your home and office…but the coffee shop?
Here are some hot tips for surviving an earthquake inside your favorite cafe.
8. Don’t go for cover under that floating, reclaimed-wood table.
It’s designed to be aesthetically pleasing, not built to withstand the weight of the roof once it collapses. It’s also basically just held up by the one arm on the wall, and we’re not even sure if that arm is attached to a stud. If your cafe has an actual table with four legs, duck under that one.
7. Stay away from the retail shelves with hand-crafted ceramics and Chemexes.
For obvious reasons, you will not want to be below the heavy glass and earthen products.
6. Edison bulbs will turn into cluster bombs, so best to avoid those.
Stay away from the dangling bulb chandeliers because those’ll burst into your eye holes and you won’t be able to find the exit.
5. Avoid antlered taxidermy subjects.
Those glorious trophies will harpoon you the moment the world begins to wiggle. The animals will get their revenge on those foolish enough to sit below them.
4. Door frames don’t do anything special these days.
Back in the olden times door frames were considered the safest area to be in an earthquake. Nowadays that ain’t so much the case, what with all the corners these micro-loft buildings cut. Remember: don’t go for the door, hit the floor.
3. The bathroom might be the safest place.
Away from the dangling bulbs and succulent terrariums and next to a bowl full of fresh, potable water, the bathroom might be your best bet. Unless the sewage erupts. Then you probably don’t want to be in there. Actually, never mind, the four-legged table is your only friend.
2. If you’re trapped, hoard nut milks and pastry.
If you find yourself trapped in your favorite cafe, you’ll need to find food. Nut milks have a longer shelf life than dairy and most come in the shelf-stable packaging, so hoard those first. Paper money will be worthless, and butter pads and sugar packets will be the new currency. Premium chocolate bars will be worth more than gold in the new post-quake barter economy.
1. Know where the nearest and safest exit is.
Real talk. Always be aware of the closest exit, because you’ll probably want to get the hell out of the cafe after the big one strikes. Leave your laptop and book bag behind, unless your book bag is your 72 hour bug out bag you keep with you at all times like I do. You’ll want that.
Zachary Carlsen is Sprudge.com’s co-founder. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.