April 8, 2016

What Goes in an Earthquake Kit, Anyway?

According to a recent U.S. Geological Survey, 143 million Americans live in earthquake-prone zones. While California still tops the list for earthquake possibilities, there’s growing evidence to suggest areas throughout the east and midwest are susceptible to a seismic shockwave disaster.

The key to surviving in the wake of a quake is disaster preparedness. Topping that list? Your family’s earthquake kit. Below is a checklist of the essentials you’ll need to survive until normal services are restored. Experts advise you need at least three days of supplies, though a better plan is to pack enough for one week. It’s also a good idea to refresh your kit each year. Here’s what you’ll need to have in waterproof containers, close at hand:
  1. Water: One gallon of water per person, per day.
  2. Food: Non-perishable food which can be prepared to eat safely without power. This includes baby food if you have one!
  3. Tools: Manual can opener, knives, spoons, forks. It’s good to have a multitool like a Leatherman (https://www.leatherman.com/ ) handy, too.
  4. Pet Food: Don’t let your animals suffer— pack them food just as you would for yourself.
  5. Flashlights: Candles are not a good idea, especially because of fire risk and the possibility of gas leaks.
  6. Radio: A battery or hand-crank weather radio is a good idea.
  7. Mobile device(s): At least one smart phone with a charger (preferably battery-powered charger)
  8. Batteries: Get the right sizes for each device and have plenty on hand.
  9. First-aid Kit: Should contain antibiotic ointments, band aids, bandages, wipes, and cold packs.
  10. Prescription Meds & Glasses: You won’t be able to get refills during a disaster, so have your medical essentials ready-to-go.
  11. Toiletries: Soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and sunscreen.
  12. Blankets & clothing: Remember you may be “camping” during the disaster, so have seasonal clothing.
  13. Vital documents: Get copies of your IDs, any medical records, family photos, passports, and insurance info.
  14. Money: Cash and credit cards. A minimum of $100 in cash and one current credit card with plenty of available credit.

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