On this blog, we occasionally focus on prepping, disaster recovery and survival. For our long time readers, this will come as no surprise. A fair amount of our customer base files themselves in the prepper category and many are subject matter experts on all things related to survival. I typically try not to concentrate on any one area of survival. I usually tell people to do a threat analysis of their region and prepare for what disasters are most likely to hit their area. If you live in Nebraska, tsunami preparation is probably not your thing. However, for a good portion of the United States, earthquakes are a clear and present threat year round.
Today, several states are conducting the Great Shake Out. A regional earthquake drill that more than a half-million citizens around Missouri will participate in. At 10:15 in the morning, schoolchildren, businesses and you at home are encouraged to drop, cover and hold on. People underestimate the power of earthquakes. While earthquake intensity depends on myriad conditions, even a relatively small event of magnitude 6.3 can produce waves more powerful than the force of gravity. The waves can knock you off your feet and make it impossible to walk. The intense back-and-forth motions will cause the floor or the ground to jerk sideways out from under you, and every unsecured object could topple or become airborne. In addition to preparing for an earthquake, it may be a good time to take roll on your level of preparedness and see what could improve your chances.
For earthquakes, the supplies are needed are straightforward. The Federal Emergency Management Administration recommends you start with a 72-hour kit.
- Water—one gallon per person per day
- Food —ready to eat or requiring minimal water
- Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
- Plates, utensils and other mealtime supplies
- First Aid kit and instructions
- A copy of important documents and phone numbers
- Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member
- Heavy work gloves
- Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
- Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer, and soap
- Plastic sheeting, duct tape, and utility knife for covering broken windows
- Tools such as a crowbar, hammer and nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Large heavy-duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
- Any special needs items for children, seniors, or people with disabilities. Don’t forget water and supplies for your pets.
A component of your disaster kit is your go-bag. Put the above items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work. Consider what you would need in an earthquake scenario. A simple dust mask can make it easier to breath since earthquakes kick up large amounts of particle contaminants. Of course, a firearm and plenty of ammunition is a good idea. Odd behavior can emerge during a widespread disaster and you might find yourself defending your family or your property. Since the power will most likely be out, flashlights and batteries are important. Remember to pack any prescriptions along with health insurance cards. Remember to have plenty of gasoline in your vehicle since major roadways tend to shut down from damage and traffic.
It is difficult to predict everything you will need in a disaster situation. No matter how much planning you do, surprises and obstacles will likely make your situation difficult. Remember to have the essentials on hand and have backup plans in place. Knowing what to do in an emergency could be the difference between saving and losing lives.
What kinds of items would you need to survive an earthquake? Share with us some ideas you might have!