Although everyone is talking about earthquake preparedness right now, I realize that getting ready for a disaster can seem like an enormous project. Start small. Then add, tweak, and cycle new supplies. I've challenged myself to create a quick and easy way to get help you get 'earthquake ready' in one day or less. (Sure, there's always more to add, but this should be a convenient way to get started and a check-up for those that have started a kit.) Ready? Set! Let's go!
Flashlight - at least one good emergency flashlight with two sets of batteries (not stored in the flashlight, it drains the batteries) in your kit is paramount!
Water - a gallon of water per person per day. If you don't have any water stored, go buy one case of bottled water per person. You can add to or modify this later.
Medicine - Put a week's worth of each prescription medication, routine over the counter
medications, other convenient medications (ibuprofen, cough drops, etc.), and a first aid kit in your emergency kit.
Gallon zip-lock type bags
Portable radio and two sets of batteries (stored out of the radio).
Tools - a crescent and pipe wrench to shut off water and gas. Learn how to shut these off, as well as your electricity. A small tool kit and/or super tool might be a good idea, as well.
Food - Canned food, boxed food, snacks/treats, and canned pet food will be critical in the first few days after an earthquake before utilities are restored. Also consider how you'll be able to heat the food. Camp stove and fuel? Outdoor grill? Keep it maintained a d conveniently and safely located. Don't forget a hand crank can opener!
Storage Container - Place these items (except the water) in a bin located in a accessible and convenient place in your home.
Training - Take five minutes and practice earthquake safety and response using 'Drop, Cover, and Hold On.' (Your kids have already done this at school, I bet.) The moment you feel the ground shake - Drop where you are. Cover yourself by crawling under a sturdy piece of furniture (table, bed, desk, counter, etc.) away from bookshelves or other furniture that might topple. Hold on to the item you are hiding beneath to keep it over you. After the shaking stops, wait and use caution moving about. Watch for falling debris. Use special caution when entering and exiting a building or room. Most injuries occur within ten feet of building entrances. Make sure you are unharmed, then check on those around you.
There are many additional steps you can take to prepare for an earthquake. Start here with these suggestions and build on that foundation. As I've mentioned before, you don't need a separate kit for each disaster. Integrate the supplies you'll need in a variety of events into one complete collection (shelter in place, power outage, earthquake, flooding, etc.)
Remember to train even if you don't live in an earthquake zone. Most of us travel through these areas for vacation and/or business.
Four Rules of Three
Functional Friday: Go-Bag Part I - The Need
Like a Bridge over Troubled Water
Practice an Evening Without Electricity
(By the way, as a test of my own, I composed and edited this entire post from my phone.)