The walls are lined with televisions, and on the front wall, a projector beamed data from emergency offices across the state.
Mark Hubbard, director of the homeland security for the county, said the crew was already planning to be up and running this weekend for Hurricane Irene. He said the office holds two drills a year. Earthquakes, however, aren't usually a part of the drill.
"It's definitely a queasy feeling, knowing that it happened here," Hubbard said.
Scenes from a big shake … and 'save the ice cream!'
As the quake hit, local residents found their summertime routines stirred a bit:
Loch Raven Village resident Renate Shelley and her husband, George, were sitting in their SUV watching their dog, Minnie, playing in Gunpowder State Park when their car began moving.
"We felt the car go left and then right and then back and forth," she said. "But we weren't driving."
"What the hell was that?" said George, who had been snoozing.
After listening to the radio news, they called her son in North Carolina and found that he was OK. They couldn't get through after that, as phones started jamming.
Timonium resident Dorrie Wilfong and a friend were just leaving the table after having a wonderful "Tea with Julia Faye" at the Stone Mansion near Sinai Hospital.
The shelves of the room that surrounded them were full of fancy tea pots and cups and saucers, "but nothing fell," she said.
"My poor friend had just gotten a shoulder replacement, and it was tough enough for her to get up," Wilfong said.
"She didn't need an earthquake."
At first, Ken Knight, manager of Stebbins Anderson on Kenilworth Drive, thought it was work being done on the roof, and that one of the big air conditioning units had fallen off.
Nobody warned him, and he was irritated. It was bad enough when a light fixture in the ceiling popped out and some glassware started falling of the shelves, but he thought an employee must have been be kidding when he told him four or five cans of paints in the hardware section of the store had fallen and burst open.
"Both floors took a little rocking," he said.
The good news was a few things fell off the shelves in his wife's store, Stebbins for Her, he said. "But they were just purses."