Chisa Etheridge says living in Tokyo, her family is used to earthquakes, but there was nothing typical about what she felt Friday afternoon.
"We immediately go under the dinner table and my son, he was kind of hysterically crying because this is the first time, nothing shook him like that in his life, so we were very scared," Etheridge says.
The walls cracked in her home, but Etheridge says it's still livable. What worries her now is the threat of exposure to radiation, which is why her husband put her and their two children on a plane bound for Dulles.
"Hope two weeks in enough, to clean up everything. But maybe it's too short, but hopefully," says Etheridge.
Elizabeth Etheridge, Chisas sister-in-law, was at the airport to greet her family, who endured quite a journey.
"I think it took him seven hours to get them from Tokyo to the Tokyo airport, and seven hours home," says Elizabeth Etheridge.
Elizabeth Etheridge is thrilled to see Chisa Etheridge and the two kids, but worries about her brother, who's still in Japan.
"As the nuclear power plant started to melt down that was just such a worry and still is because it's so unpredictable. Joey's still there and he could be exposed at any moment," says Elizabeth.
For the next two weeks, this family says they know they'll be safe, but they're also wondering when it will be safe enough for them to return home.