A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the East Coast today. According to preliminary reports, the earthquake’s epicenter was in Mineral, Va., approximately 50 miles from Stafford, Va., where the offices of Key Communications Inc., publishers DWM magazine, are located.

Staff members there are all safe and accounted for, but many were stunned by the event.

“I thought it was the military base at first, but when it didn’t stop after 10 seconds, that’s when I knew something serious was happening,” says director of video production Chris Bunn.

DWM magazine assistant editor Penny Stacey, had a similar reaction.

“When it seemed to continue for more than a brief moment, I suspected a possible earthquake,” says Stacey. “When I saw our web developer, Bryan Hovey, run out the front door of our office, I realized my suspicions might be correct.”

Stacey, like others, still didn’t realize how far-reaching the earthquake was.

“As texts and emails started to pour in from friends and family along the East Coast, and I realized just how far the earthquake had stretched, I was drawn to the instantaneous reaction pouring out on Twitter,” says Megan Headley, editor of DWM’s sister publication, USGlass. “One post seemed to sum the reaction up well: ‘earthquake in a glass studio means trouble.’ I sincerely hope that our readers are recovering from a little surprise and not from any significant damage.”

DWM’s sister site USGNN.com’s™ editor Sahely Mukerji was working from her home in McLean, Va., just north of the Stafford office, and also felt the earthquake.

“[My son] Kush and I ran outside bare feet as things started being thrown off the shelves. It was like a scary movie,” she says. “First I thought it was the construction workers outside, but as the chandelier started shaking, I ran upstairs, grabbed Kush and ran out. There were people outside, some crying. I’m ashamed to say this, but my heart is still pounding. I’m hoping that there are no aftershocks.”

Following today’s event, many on the East Coast are turning their thoughts to reports of the next potential natural disaster, Hurricane Irene, forecasted to strike the coast on this weekend.

In the space below, share your thoughts on today’s earthquake and how you are preparing for the hurricane.


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