Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquake PreparednessMost of the time in America, we think of ourselves as being extremely fortunate to live in one of the greatest countries in the world. And while that’s certainly true from a cultural perspective, that doesn’t mean that Americans are any more immune to one of the great dangers of our world; natural disaster. In some cases, we may be even more vulnerable, as the mid-west regularly endures tornadoes, while the southeast is prone to flooding, and of course, in the west, everyone is waiting for “the big one,” a massive earthquake.

And these naturals disasters are very real threats not just as they occur, but in the aftermath. This is especially true in the case of something with widespread damage like an earthquake. A serious earthquake can flatten buildings, disrupt roads, knock out cellular phone reception, Internet connectivity, electrical power, natural gas pipes and even water lines, turning our towns and cities into literal disaster areas.

When the technological convenience of our modern day infrastructure fails us in an event like that, what do we do? Especially with regards to food?

Plan Ahead

It’s not glamorous, nor is it particularly optimistic but one of the best ways to deal with the challenges of an earthquake is to assume it will happen to you, and plan for it. “Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst,” is particularly appropriate in this regard. Should an earthquake occur, it can have varying degrees of severity, but you are better off making preparations that take the worst case scenario into account.

Have enough emergency food supplies to last a minimum of three days, though a week or more is definitely safer. Also make sure that the food you choose to store can be easily consumed without preparation. Don’t rely on stoves to be working to cook your food, or even have easy access to combustible materials with which to make a fire for cooking purposes.

First Aid Kit

Store your first aid supplies in a tool box or fishing tackle box so they will be easy to carry and protected from water. Inspect your kit regularly and keep it freshly stocked. NOTE: Important medical information and most prescriptions can be stored in the refrigerator, which also provides excellent protection from fires.

Drugs/Medications

  • Hydrogen peroxide to wash and disinfect wounds
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Individually wrapped alcohol swabs
  • Aspirin and non-aspirin tablets
  • Prescriptions and any long-term medications (keep these current)
  • Diarrhea medicine
  • Eye drops

Dressings

  • Bandage strips
  • Ace bandages
  • Rolled gauze
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Adhesive tape roll

Other First Aid Supplies

  • First aid book
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Bar soap
  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Paper cups
  • Pocket knife
  • Small plastic bags
  • Safety pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Instant cold packs for sprains
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Splinting materials

Survival Kit for Your Home

Assemble a survival kit for your home with the following items:

Tools and supplies

  • ax, shovel, broom
  • screwdriver, pliers, hammer, adjustable wrench
  • rope for towing or rescue
  • plastic sheeting and tape

Items for safety and comfort

  • sturdy shoes that can provide protection from broken glass, nails, and other debris
  • gloves (heavy and durable for cleaning up debris)
  • candles
  • waterproof matches
  • change of clothing
  • knife
  • garden hose (for siphoning and firefighting)
  • tent
  • recreational supplies for children and adults
  • blankets or sleeping bags
  • portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
  • essential medications and eyeglasses
  • fire extinguisher — multipurpose, dry chemical type
  • food and water for pets
  • toilet tissue
  • cash

Storing Your Food

Plan for your particular family. If you have a baby, store infant appropriate food. If you have pets, don’t forget about them, and ensure that you have something to feed them with as well. Do not forget water, and try, for the surest peace of mind, to have two weeks of water available. You will likely need to replenish your water supply every six months to ensure that it is still potable.

Canned foods can last up to two years, but other alternatives, such as our Valley Food Storage offerings, can last up to 25 if you want more peace of mind. Ensure that your food is stored in a cool, dry, place, with a temperature range between 40 and 60̊F. Make sure that all appropriate tools and utensils are available. Don’t be that person has a week’s worth of canned food and no can opener!

Also carefully consider your emergency food storage options, especially with an earthquake scenario. Putting your emergency food supply in the basement will do you no good if you’re forced to leave your home and the basement gets buried under a structural collapse. Make sure that in an emergency situation, your emergency supplies are easy to reach and use.

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