I moved across the country to the west coast and had to adjust to the many differences from my east coast upbringing.
- Naturally, the climate is different, and the winters aren’t nearly as harsh.
I noticed the difference in plant life and wildlife immediately, especially in the types of birds. And what a surprising culture shock I encountered! Back east, people are always in a rush – not so with westerners. Clothing styles are more preppy and formal in the east, more Bohemian and casual in the west. But there’s no greater difference than the fact that there are earthquakes on the west coast! For the first time, I had to look at my belongings through the eyes of earthquake survival. Small appliances, knick knacks, wall hangings and plant stands – everything had to pass the test of their ability to withstand a good shaking. I asked an HVAC contractor what I needed to know about earthquakes affecting my heating and cooling system. “Plenty!”, he said. First of all, earthquakes can rattle HVACs off of their foundation. Even if the unit is bolted down, if it’s too rigid, it still might not be durable enough. A system of springs and clamps give the unit enough freedom to shift when the ground shifts. If the HVAC unit shifts significantly, you can expect to find loose or broken electrical wiring. If there’s a gas line, a break in it becomes a significant hazard. He suggested that I ask my insurance company if there were any protective measures against hurricanes that I could take in order to reduce my rates. I am gradually adapting to my new surroundings – whether things stay firm, or if they shake, rattle and roll.