The thing about earthquakes is that there is no “season” for them like there is for hurricanes or tornado’s. An earthquake can hit at any time of day or night and at any time of year. The occur with little to no warning and they do not discriminate. They can ravage poor places like Haiti or affluent areas such as California. This is one reason it’s so important to practice earthquake preparedness and develop earthquake emergency plans of action. If you don’t have a plan or haven’t started preparing for an earthquake in your area, the best think you can do is start with an earthquake kit.
Like nearly any other area on Earth that has a potential for natural disasters, people in earthquake prone areas need to take into account the possibility that they will be in the cross-hairs one day and plan accordingly. For these people, earthquake preparedness is an year round affair.
Earthquake survival kits are a lot like other survival kits people in other areas might put together or buy in case of a natural disaster. You should have the basics; food for several days, batteries for radio’s and flashlights, water for a week or more, charger for your cell phone or a backup battery, supplies for your pets, etc.
One must keep in mind that after an earthquake, the possibility of there being any civil services like emergency personnel, water, electricity and others will be slim to none. Many of the first responders will be making sure their families are safe first before they start helping others. Even then, they’ll more than likely be dispatched to high population centers like downtown areas. Residential areas will be down the list a ways, so you may be on your own for a while. That’s why you should have an earthquake kit handy and the knowledge to use all of its contents.
Other items you may want to include in your earthquake kit are blankets, mirrors, matches or lighters, 2 way radio, prescriptions, extra eye glasses or contacts if you use them, solar generator or fuel generator along with a supply of fuel (now you know why I recommend solar generators!) and baby items should you have infants in the house. Don’t forget first aid kits for you and your pets as well as any special medical needs you or people in your family might have, especially elderly people.
Don’t scrimp on earthquake supplies. Also, take into account how many people are in your household. If you have enough water for 2 people for a week, it won’t last long if there are 4 or 5 people in your family…or if others show up at your home. You need to take these things into account when preparing for an earthquake.
Also, don’t forget your pets. Earthquake survival kits should include plenty of food and water for them. Is they water they will be drinking the same water you’ll be drinking? If so, make sure you have more than enough stored for your family and your pets. All pets should have collars with your name and address on them. This will help in case you and your pets get separated after an earthquake.
Other things you should know how to do are as follows: do you know where the emergency shut off valves are for the water and gas? Do you know how to shut these off? If you don’t, or you think you might know, make sure and have someone who does know, show you where they’re at and how to do it.
Adding some basic camping gear to your earthquake kit is a wise idea as well. Because you sure aren’t going to want to sleep in a building after an earthquake. Some after shocks can be nearly as strong as the earthquake itself. A multi fuel camp stove, chairs, tents, water containers, utensils, kitchen tools and sanitary bucket for relieving yourself are wise additions to any emergency kit for earthquakes.
Earthquake preparedness isn’t something that you should take lightly or put off. Now is the best time to start. If you don’t have the time or you’re not comfortable putting together a kit yourself, there are many places where you can buy ready made earthquake kits. The important thing is that you start now, because non of us know when the ‘big one’ will strike next.