This week was an opportunity for everyone to take part in ShakeOut - our national earthquake and tsunami drill.
All around the country people - including thousands of school children - were encouraged to "drop, cover and hold" as they went through a pretend earthquake.
I didn't remember to drop, cover, or hold. In fact, I was wondering what all the sirens were about until someone mentioned the drill an hour or so later.
I felt quite daft.
• Rachael Wise: Hang on ... who's the boss in this relationship?
• Rachel Wise: The hedgehogs are fine, thanks
• Rachel Wise: A creek by any other name ...
• Rachel Wise: The mystery of the missing hedgehogs and the stench from hell
I really needed my grandmother there, she would have make sure I remembered.
Gran went through the '31 Quake and well we knew it.
She reminded us often. Gran never let a good earthquake pass unmentioned. In fact I suspect there were a few that even Geonet wouldn't have registered, but Gran did.
"It's all right - it's just an earthquake!" Gran would yell at us before we had any inkling that we might feel less than right.
In fact, I was happily sleeping through a 2am shake once, when Gran woke me to loudly assure me I was all right, and that it was just an earthquake. And indeed it was. The sash windows of her old house were rattling in their frames and the roller blinds were beating a tattoo on the windowsill.
Just as well she woke me up or I would have been completely unaware that I was, actually, okay.
Gran would tell stories of how she was in the playground at school in Taradale when the '31 Quake hit. And how she wanted to run home afterwards but instead saw her father running to check on her.
She told of how the front had fallen off their house - and how her policeman father was most concerned during the rebuild that the original bathtub must be reinstated, as he was too tall to be comfortable in a shorter bathtub.
So I should be well versed in earthquake awareness. And living in Hawke's Bay we get plenty of chances to practice our drill.
I remember one decent practice opportunity when my eldest daughter was under a year old and she was sitting in her high chair while I made dinner.
There was a wallop and a shudder as a quake hit and I raced to scoop her out of her chair and under get under the sturdy dining table.
But she wouldn't scoop. She was wedged in and my brain had bypassed the "unlatch the tray so you can get the baby out" part of the process and gone straight to "grab the baby!"
In the event, I tugged the top of the chair off its legs (remember those old wooden high-chairs? They even had a hole in the seat where you could place a potty. So convenient and so unsanitary!) and under the table we went, me, the chair-clad child and a cabbage I had been grasping the entire time, that I'd been cutting up for dinner when the shaking started.
We hung out under the table for quite a while, then got on with life and I very nearly forgot about it.
However it left a lasting impression on the child.
A couple of years later we were in about the same spot, at about the same time, but this time my second daughter was in existence and was resident in the high chair.
And this time my husband was one of the lucky participants as the house jolted, the ground rolled and we headed for under the table again.
This time my brain halted briefly at the "unlatch tray, remove child" part of the highchair scenario and we safely - or so I thought - all dove for cover.
Eldest daughter was not convinced. She wailed and she shouted. I told her she was okay. She made it obvious she didn't think so.
Eventually she drew breath and came out with word instead of wails ... "Daddy's legs!" she yelled. "Daddy's legs are out!"
She was right. Daddy being taller than the rest of us, his torso was under the table but his legs were, most definitely, out.
She was convinced that something horrible was about to happen to Daddy's legs and she was not consoled until poor Daddy folded his legs up very uncomfortably and contorted himself to safety.
In fact, so convinced was she that being under the table was the magic cure to everything earthquakey that she wanted to sleep under there.
I said no, and that she could sleep on a mattress in our bedroom instead until she felt a little braver.
Then I spent the rest of the night repeatedly fishing her out from under our bed, which she had decided was the next safest zone after the trusty dining table.
I will try to remember to take part in the next ShakeOut. Although I'm not sure whether to go with "drop, cover and hold" or stick with family tradition and dash about shouting "it's all right, it's just an earthquake!".