Settle Your Quake Anxiety with a Disaster Kit

Home is where the heart is. My homes include Los Angeles and the Bay Area, both of which have experienced some earthquakes in the past couple of months. The most recent one being the 4.0 mag quake near Oakland, CA around 6:45am on Monday, August 17th, 2015. If you have loved ones in the area, yourself included of course, I hope everyone is ok. 

There are quite a few people out there who experience anxiety when it comes to earthquakes, whether you are from the area or not. So one of the ways to ease that anxiety is to create a disaster kit that you can grab in an emergency. You want to have enough food, water, and supplies to help you survive for at least 72 hours, which is how long it could take for disaster relief workers and local officials to reach the scene. The following is a list of basics you want to include in your bag: 

  • Water - one gallon per person per day for three days 
  • Food - at least three days worth of non-perishable food, such as canned goods (include a can opener), cereals, crackers 
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, extra batteries 
  • Flashlights - one per person, extra batteries 
  • First aid kit - bandaids, antibiotic cream, alcohol wipes, gloves, thermometer, prescription medications (rotate frequently to avoid expiration), scissors, tweezers, aspirin, antacid 
  • Whistle - to signal for help 
  • Female sanitary products 
  • Dust mask 
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting - to create quick shelter 
  • Garbage bags 
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Local maps 
  • Cell phone chargers 
  • Cash or checks 
  • Emergency foil blankets per person 
  • Complete change of clothing per person 
  • Paper plates, cups, utensils 
  • Paper and pencil 
  • List of important phone numbers
  • Pet food and additional water if you have pets 
  • Other medications or supplies for unique needs - glasses and/or contacts and contact solution, prescription medication, infant formula/diapers, denture needs, Epi pen

Be sure to place this kit in a designated, cool, dark storage space so that food does not spoil. Label all items with dates. Check the disaster kit bag every 6 months to change out items that are about to expire and change the clothing, especially if you have children. Tell all family members about the kit location so that everyone knows where to grab it in case of emergency. 

Are there other things that you would want to include in your kit? 

Check out the following links for more info on emergency kits: 

http://www.ready.gov/

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/plan

http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/plan/