Rare East Coast earthquake rattles & reminds

Our office in Tarrytown, NY must be made of strong stuff – we didn’t feel a thing when the waves of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake rolled through our region earlier today! We were lucky.

It just goes to show you that the only thing you can count on is that the unexpected will happen. An earthquake in VA? Highly improbable. And yet, today at around 1:50pm, an earthquake rattled buildings (and frayed a few nerves) up and down the East Coast.

The event reminded me of one of my all time favorite books: The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The central thesis of the book is essentially that we cannot possibly predict with any certainty what is going to happen in life – not in the markets, not in politics, not in world events, not in our personal lives. In fact, trying to predict or model what’s going to happen only makes us more vulnerable to big, random events (the book calls them “black swans”) because said models lull us into thinking we’re safer than we really are.

I wholeheartedly agree with the premise.

In fact, when I first read the book back in 2008, I came away with a newfound appreciation for a concept that was actually behind the start of GetButtonedUp.com. Namely: expect the unexpected. Better to be prepared than caught unaware.

And prepared doesn’t mean perfect. It doesn’t mean anticipate every possibility. It simply means, in this case, know what your plan is in the event of an emergency – that, and have your important information (medical, insurance, etc.) at the ready. With a basic framework in place, you’ll be able to weather any storm.

In that spirit, if you have yet to get these things in order – go immediately (do not pass go, do not collect $200) and download this free printable designed to help you get your emergency plans in order, or read this article on emergency planning for procrastinators, and get your important information in order.

Just because random things happen doesn’t your life has to be thrown into chaos. Be prepared; get buttoned up.

Do you have an emergency plan? What is it? Does your family know you have a plan or is it all in your head?