One of Jolene's favorite books of all time was If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake. She could probably have written out the text from memory.
(By the way, if you're looking for a good resource book, kids' book, such as If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island, give you the kind of hands-on details that help to bring a book to life. Adult books concentrate on the whys and wherefores).
Talia (my cat) spent most of yesterday complaining to me. I couldn't figure out why. Clean litter, plenty of food and water. . .
Last night, all the cats and the dogs in the neighborhood camped in my back yard, creating a huge rumpus. Maybe it wasn't my back yard, but it sounded like it.
Then at 10 minutes before 11, while I'm lying down, my bed starts to shake. My lamp is shaking. Everything in the room is shaking.
Surprising Talia doesn't make a sound.
The room continues rattling for long enough for me to figure out "this must be an earthquake" and even long enough for me to begin to worry. Then it stopped (although my lamp continued trembling off and on.)
Jolene's book mentioned the strange behavior of animals on the days leading up to the earthquake. I decide that is created the three-ring circus in my backyard.
So now if I ever need to describe an earthquake, I can extrapolate from personal experience.