A moving experience

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Washington and Baltimore-area residents felt the Earth move on August 23, an unsettling sensation and, hopefully, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Just in case there’s a next time, take a look at this fact sheet from the Red Cross about how to prepare for and what to do in case of an earthquake. I was surprised to see that taking refuge in a doorway is not recommended.

But as Hurricane Irene swirls toward the mid-Atlantic, I'm finding the earthquake is already a fading memory. While damage was minimal to homes from the earthquake, the hurricane may be a different story. And for those who are already behind on home repairs, these two back-to-back events add chores to an already long to-do list.

Older residents who lack the skills and finances to make repairs might want to consider applying for assistance from the nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together, formerly known as Christmas in April. While most repairs to homes are made in a weekend-long blitz in April, the organization is now taking applications from homeowners who need help.

To learn more about Rebuilding Together, read the Beacon’s Howard County edition September cover story. To get more information about the program and how you can get assistance or volunteer in your community, see Rebuilding Together's website or call 1-800-473-4229.