Earthquakes are a sure bet to shake people up for no matter how many you experience in your lifetime when one hits it still brings apprehension.
So it was early yesterday morning when a large quake struck off-shore from the east coast of the North Island and which was felt to one degree or another over most of the island, including Wairarapa.
The quake was deep and 150km off the coast which no doubt helped immensely in limiting its impact and the main concern from it was the threat of tsunami.
That, thankfully, proved to be relatively tame but the whole incident served once again to remind us to be well prepared and also reminded us that we live in a part of the world which is prone to seismic activity.
It seems hardly a week passes that we don’t hear of or read about a devastating earthquake striking at the heart of an unfortunate community, leaving behind dead and injured people and mountains of rubble and heartbreak.
Of course, the Christchurch quakes were our own homegrown version of just that and it is to be hoped that city will forever be spared a repeat.
That, of course, is not something anyone can guarantee,w any more so than a guarantee can be given regarding any other area of the country.
Some degree of comfort can be taken though from the fact this region has an active and capable civil defence organisation that is constantly refreshing itself to put itself into the best possible position to cope with the aftermath of a devastating event.
That is comforting but at the end of the day the onus is on each and every one of us to be prepared on our own account by learning the necessary drills and to have on hand whatever is needed to meet the challenge a disaster poses.
The worst approach is to be complacent or to exhibit ill-founded bravado and to not have a clue what to do should an event suddenly strike.
Those types are inevitably the people who cause the greatest misery and confusion when something does go awry, and who lean heaviest on already busy safety personnel doing their best to help.
Don’t become one of them.