This morning, when the 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck near Fukushima, Japan, You Tube had amateur video up as fast as news agencies reported the story.
In Southern California, where major quakes are anticipated, you can prepare now to be in a position to send your home videos to news agencies, You Tube, social media venues, and your local television station. Your footage is valuable for scientists, researchers, emergency responders, disaster preparedness officials, educators, and the public at large. There may not be a price tag put on your work, but there could be.
Take a moment about where you would want to send your video after a quake. It may be you want to send it to the Southern California Earthquake Center, for example. Enter that information in your cell phone. Be ready after an earthquake event to put your safety first, and your communications secondary.
Keep the email address, website address, or phone number of your chosen media outlet, in your cell phone. That way you'll be ready to share the information when the time comes. Keep the new agency's breaking news phone number in your cell phone.
The trick is to keep yourself safe while you're taking video of the earthquake event itself. The standard "Drop, Cover and Hold On" procedure is much more difficult when standing to take a video while the ground is shaking. You are more likely to gather effective footage if you are outside. Inside, do not risk the danger of objects threatening your physical well being by trying to be the video star.
But if you're able to keep safe and record the event, then you're recording history in motion.