It’s really impossible to be prepared for everything, but you should evaluate your risk and prepare. You can easily get an idea of what you should prepare for by reviewing historical and current events. Determine whats a common issue in your area and whats the likelihood of it happening again. Although earthquakes have been more common on the west coast. Its important to note the rising risks on the east. Because of this, getting a earthquake preparedness kit together may be a good idea.
It is important to not only rely on tools or equipment solely, but to build confidence on your skills. Now how to start a fire, no matter where you are. Be aware of your neighborhood, desperate situations can bring out the worst in people.
First off, a good earthquake kit can be used for a number of emergency situations. Even if you believe your location has any real quake risks, this all around kit will come in handy. Second, earthquakes are actually a little more common that you think. Checkout the USGS Earthquake Hazard Map and review historical events by you.
What to Do if There’s an Earthquake
The US Geological Survey (USGS) has seismic sensors placed across the US, as well as a global network. Monitoring these sensors can help them get a better understanding of earthquake activity and hopefully trigger warnings before a quake happens. Unfortunately, forecasting is difficult, quakes can happen suddenly and sometimes without warning.
Thats why its important to know what to do in case you find your self in this situation. During an earthquake there are several steps you can take to reduce or even avoid injury.
If your are outdoors: Stay clear of possible falling objects. That can include trees, light poles, sighs or utility wires. If your in a city or urban area try to avoid building that may collapse or drop debris. Depending on your location this may be impossible. In such cases, you may need to seek out cover in a building.
In a vehicle: Safely come to a stop and stay in your vehicle, it can protect you from falling objects. If possible take note of your surrounding, your better off staying clear of large objects that might fall.After the shaking stops, you can resume drive, but stay away from construction zones, bridges and tunnels until there integrity is verified.
In your home: Have an idea of safe locations in your home before an event. You should be clear of glass, windows, fixtures and furniture that may fall. Drop down to the ground before the quake knocks you down. Cover your head and neck with your arms. If possible seek additional cover.
After the an earthquake: look around for a path to safety. Find an open area clear of falling debris and wait for or call for help. If your trapped and unable to make an exit, don’t panic. Try to stay still and don’t attempt to move around fallen objects unless your sure its safe. If possible use your phone and call for help. If your unable to reach a phone just call for help, tap on walls or pipes. You want to make your presence known.
Putting Together Your Emergency Supply Kit
For a more complete list of items, individualized for certain needs, download: Getting Prepared for a Quake PDF
This is going to be more of earthquake kit checklist of items you will need. Keep in mind that a good kit should have enough to supplies to last for three days. A great kit should last you one week or more. Its also important to track and date each item. This way you know what supplies need to be replaced or used before expiring.
Lets start by going over an earthquake kit for home, one that you can put together on your own. Each item covered is per-person, that means, you will need to review this checklist for everyone in your family. Once everything is put together, place your emergency kit in a safe dry place thats easy to “get and go” in a rush.
- One gallon of water a day per-person and a supply of at least three days person
- Food, three day supply per-person ( non perishable, canned, etc..)
- Pet food if applicable
- Camping stove / cooker *
- Clothing (including: long shirts, sweaters, coats)
- Rain Gear
- Extra batteries
- Dust mask, one per
- Whistles, one per
- Tool set (wrench, pliers, small items) if possible
- Duct tape
- Manual can opener
- First Aid Kit – See below
- Cell phone
- Box cutter, knife or blade
- Reliable Multi-tool *
- Chargers, solar or hand-crank if possible
Basic First Aid Kit:
- Sterile dressings
- burn and antibiotic ointments
- Adhesive and non adhesive band ads/wraps
- Eye wash
- Petroleum jelly
- Prescription medications if needed
- Aspirin or pain revilers
- Anti diarrhea
The Must Have Item
The most important item for any survival kit is knowledge. Knowing what each item is, how to use it and use it efficiently. This is knowledge that takes time to accumulate and must be share with every member of your party or family. Go over emergency procedures, practice and rehearse all the steps and items. Staying calm in emergency situations is also extremely important. By running emergency scenarios, you are mentally preparing your self for situations.