Making An Earthquake Kit
Making An Earthquake Kit
Mark Benthien (Director of Communication, Education, and Outreach, Southern California Earthquake Center ) gives expert video advice on: What are the essential elements of an earthquake disaster plan?; What types of food and water should I have?; What earthquake supplies should I keep near my bed? and more...
What tools should I have on hand in the event of an earthquake?
After an earthquake has happened you're going to need some tools to be able to respond. First thing you may need to do is shut off the gas. If you hear a gas leak or if you smell gas, you're going to need to turn the gas shut-off valve. You use an adjustable wrench for that and they also have a specialized wrench specifically for gas shut-off valves that you can place right there at the valve, ready to turn it off. You also should have a crowbar on hand in case you need to get through a door that may be jammed after an earthquake, or use it for other items that may have been damaged. You may also require regular tools like a hammer, a screwdriver, and any other tools that you'll need to deal with the aftermath of an earthquake.
What are the essential elements of an earthquake disaster plan?
it's important that you have with your whole family a disaster plan for an earthquake, because you need to be able to plan how you're going to deal with the earthquake during the earthquake, how you're going to respond after the earthquake, and how you're going to communicate and begin to recover after an earthquake. You can have all that planned ahead of time - it'll make things go much more smoothly. If you want to have a communications plan with your family, have an out-of-state contact that everybody can call and report in to, in case you're separated after an earthquake. You want to have planned how you're going to leave your home, have a safe place to meet, if there's damage inside or outside of your home, that everyone's going to go to. You want to have planned how to deal with injuries, and perhaps taken a CPR class, to help you respond after an earthquake. Have a long-term recovery plan so that you know where your financial documents, for instance, are to help you recover after the earthquake.
What is in a disaster supplies kit?
Everyone should have their own personal disaster supplies kit in the event of an earthquake. You want to have perhaps more than one: one at work, one at home and one in your car. You never know where you're going to be when the earthquake happens. Each disaster supplies kit should have basic items that are going to help you deal with the earthquake. Each kit should have basic first aid supplies, any prescription medications that you are going to need, a flashlight with batteries, a portable radio, a whistle, a fire extinguisher (it can be in your car kit perhaps or elsewhere your home), canned foods with a can opener and, of course, bottled water. You want to have copies of important documents that you might need to show who you are, and then also, very importantly, cash - small denominations, ones and fives - that you're going to need in order to buy supplies after an earthquake.
Why should I have extra cash on hand in the event of an earthquake?
You want to have some cash on hand in your disaster supplies kit, or just always have some small denominations -- ones and fives, maybe a ten -- with you at all times, because the ATMs are perhaps not going to be working after an earthquake, because power's going to be out. People at stores may not have their cash registers working, so they may not be able to make change for you. In past earthquakes, people have bought bottles of water with $20 bills because that's all they had. If you have ones, fives - smaller currency - you'll be able to get what you need after an earthquake.
What types of food and water should I have?
After an earthquake, you need to be prepared to be on your own for perhaps three days to a week. Because of that, you need to have supplies on hand before the earthquake that you are going to use, especially food and water. You are going to need food and especially water for three to seven days after an earthquake. You may not be able to go to the store and buy these items after the earthquake, so having them in advance is important. You basically have the food you already have in your home. You don't need to have too much specialized prepackaged foods but just the can food that you already have in your cupboards should be fine. Just as you go shopping, get extras each time and build up a supply that you'll have in the event of an earthquake. Make sure to have a can opener, or whatever you need to use that food. Also, in terms of water, you want to have about a gallon per person in your household per day. That is the good approximation of how much water you are going to need after an earthquake. For seven days that may be a lot of water. You want to have that stored. You also want to cycle that through, use that water once a year, so that it stays fresh.
What earthquake supplies should I keep near my bed?
In case the earthquake happens at night, you want to have at least two things near your bed at all times. You'll need a fully-charged flashlight, of course, so you can find your way through your home. Also, very importantly, because of broken glass that may be all throughout your home, you want to have sturdy shoes that you can wear.