For me the recent earthquake in Japan was a wake up call. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, earthquakes are not unfamiliar, but it has been quite a few years since our last good sized jolt. You forget about how devastating they can be and put the idea of an earthquake in the back of your mind. I was reminded how important emergency preparedness is. Here is what we did to prepare for an earthquake.
Research and Plan
First thing I did was research what to do before, during and after an earthquake. My husband and I discussed what we should do. After examining our home we identified the safest areas, to duck and cover during the quake. You want to be away from any heavy objects that may fall on you. Take the time to bolt furniture that may tip to the wall studs.
We made an evacuation plan in case the building was severely damaged. If we are not together at the time of the earthquake we designated a meeting place and an alternate way to contact one another if we can’t through by phone. Agree on an out of the area friend and relative who will be the emergency contact and will let other friends and family know if you are okay.
Natural Disaster Supplies
It is important to have a stash of necessities in the event of a natural disaster. You should have 1 gallon of water per person and pets, per day. The minimum recommended is a three day supply, if you have the space store more if you can. Include canned food and other non-perishable food items, a good choice is XMRE Blue Line, and make sure to have a manual can opener in your kit. Other important items to have are a first aid kit, flashlight and extra batteries, a portable radio, toiletries and some cash. Since we have kids we also decided to include a toy that was familiar to them and may provide comfort.
We have our earthquake kit in a plastic tote in our entryway hallway. It is close to the front door in case we need to flee the building. It would also be smart to have a smaller kit in your car in case you are out and about at the time of the earthquake.
Once you have your earthquake preparedness plan and earthquake kit together, practice. Pretend there is an earthquake and do what your plan details. Practice evacuating your home and teach your kids what to do if you are injured and need help. The thought of us having a big earthquake caused me some serious anxiety, but by practicing you feel better prepared and more in control.
These are only some of the things you can do in the event of an earthquake.