July 2019 was a rockin’ month in Southern California, as we were awakened from a 20 year slumber. Two big earthquakes hit the same area; a 6.4 followed the next day by a 7.1. We have been lazy. We talk about the BIG one, but nobody really takes it too seriously. Well, the time is now to figure out how to prepare for an earthquake. These are effective and easy steps on how to prepare for an earthquake that won’t break the bank, won’t take days of long preparation and yet, will give you peace of mind so when the BIG one does hit, you’ll be ready.
The First 72 is Up to You
“The first 72 is up to you”. That’s the slogan for emergency preparedness. You need to have enough supplies for you and each member of your family to last AT LEAST 3 days – as it could take emergency crews 3 days to assist you. So basically, figure you’re on your own for 3 days… no help in sight. The length of time is a big variable. It may be as long as 2 weeks, so plan accordingly.
- WATER. We cannot survive without water. The average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. Now most of that water is used flushing the toilet and then secondly, taking bathes and showers. Realistically we know we’re not going to have the luxury of all that water if we are in disaster mode, so plan to have enough water to drink, wash dishes, hands and face. Plan on a two week supply of one gallon of water a day for each member of your family. That’s a good 14 gallons per person. Since clean water may be scarce, we recommend getting a fool proof portable water purifier. Make sure it’s effective. We recommend the Sagan Life AquaBrick™ Water Purification System. All Sagan Life products have been tested and proven by third party water labs. This portable water purifier holds 3 gallons of water, so one AquaBrick™ System will cover your family and pets.
The AquaBrick™ System will be the most vital part of your earthquake preparedness or any survival plan. It will filter over 99.99% of bacteria, cryptosporidium, giardia, lead, toxins and even virus from any non-salt water source. So if your water source is limited, you can dip into any non-salt water source and feel confident about drinking and cooking with it – say a swimming pool or nearby creek. The filter system will purify between 500 and 700 gallons of contaminated water, depending on the turbidity, so that’s got you covered for a while.
The other indispensable item you should have is a personal water bottle. The Sagan Life™ Journey™ Water Purification Bottle is a very necessary part of your survival equipment. You’ll have your AquaBrick™ System at your home base, but as you move about, you’re going to need a portable water bottle. The Journey™ water bottle also has the same ingenious filtering system – also tested and proven – removing bacteria, virus, giardia and cryptosporidium. Fill it with contaminated water from a flood or a stream and have complete confidence that you’re drinking clean, safe, pure water. Stock up on a Journey Water Bottle for each member of your family.
- FOOD. You’ll need non-perishable food to feed your family for at least 3 days. Think canned tuna and fruit, peanut butter, shelf-stable milk cartons, cereal, baby formula, if that’s applicable, and I’d throw in some Cheetos, just for something fun! Don’t forget a hand operated can-opener, plastic, washable and reusable plates, and utensils. Cooking food is not a problem with a Kelly Kettle. This might be THE BEST piece of survival equipment you can own. It will boil water and heat your food without propane canisters or other fuel sources. Gather twigs, leaves, dry grass – anything that burns from your surroundings and light a Kelly Kettle. Check out www.kellykettleusa.com for more. Phenomenal little device!
- COMMUNICATION. You’ll need a battery operated or hand crank radio. Brace yourself. Without power there will not won’t be Internet and your cell phone probably won’t last long, so have some type of communication devise that doesn’t depend on electricity. It’s hard to imagine life without the Internet, but it was just as hard to imagine what the internet actually was 30 years ago!
- LIGHT. Good quality light sources. Get a couple of high-powered flashlights and camping lanterns (battery operated). It can get very, very dark without those city lights, so you’re going to need a decent source of light to endure what will seem like endless nights. Be sure to stock up on batteries!
- FIRST AID. Put together a first-aid kit. This is not just a supply of Band-Aids. First and foremost, you’ll need a two-week supply of your prescription medications. Who knows when you can get to the pharmacy or when the pharmacy will be able to restock their supplies? An extra pair of glasses or contacts, if you have them, as well as contact solution. Non-prescription meds are necessary, too. Pain meds (like aspirin or Tylenol) anti-diarrhea, laxatives and antacids. Feminine and personal hygiene items should be included. You’ll also need disinfectants, bandages, anti-biotic ointments, perhaps even something to serve as a tourniquet (hope not, but better to have it) cotton gauze squares, paper tape (that stuff is great, you don’t have to cut it, just tear it). If you have a baby, of course, diapers, baby wipes, bottles etc.). Just think of your everyday needs and make your own kit, and again, don’t forget things for your animals’ needs.
- ODDS AND ENDS. Make an “odds and ends” bag to include extra batteries of all sizes needed to power the equipment you have. A whistle is a great asset to gather your family and of course, a box of matches is necessary. A roll of duct tape, some dust masks, moist towelettes, plastic bags and ties will all be needed. Wrenches and pliers are important for turning off utilities. There are automatic shut-off valves that can be installed on your gas meter to automatically shut off the gas when the earth movement starts. The jury is out on their effectiveness, but it might be something you’d like to investigate. Every household and emergency kit should have a fire extinguisher. Where you keep your emergency kit is a personal matter. I keep mine in my car.
- IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS. The word makes everyone shudder, but yes, have copies of all your important documents in a binder; insurance policies, bank information, investment info and personal identification documents will be good to have.
- BEDDING AND CLOTHING. Make sure you have a sleeping bag or warm blanket for each member of your family and gather up a change of clothes for everybody. Take something they don’t like wearing and instead of giving it away, use it as emergency clothing… bet they’ll be happy to wear it under those circumstances. IMPORTANT: GOOD SHOES – every member of your family should have a good pair of shoes – hiking/walking shoes if possible. You may be hoofing it a long way. Never know…
- GASOLINE AND CASH. ALWAYS keep your gas tank at least ½ to ¾ full. If the power is out gasoline pumps won’t work, nor will ATM’s so have extra Cash on hand… two very important things to remember.
- MAPS AND PADS. Last but not least, include something to write with… pencils/pen/paper/note pads. Current maps of your area may come in very handy – as Siri may not be there to help.
If you have small children, remember this is going to be a time of trauma for everyone (you, too) so add some fun stuff to your emergency kit. Put in some puzzles, games, crayons and coloring books for the kids and maybe a good book for yourself. Nobody said this was going to be easy, but be prepared and you’ll find you’ll get through it with flying colors.