Friday, March 18, 2011

Earthquake Preparedness, You Must Be Ready!

We all need to know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Even though we are a modern, advanced society, earthquakes can bring disaster that only people who have survived them can begin to testify of. A strong earthquake, such as the one that was just experienced in Haiti can bring destruction that defies the imagination! This is why we have to at least prepare and know what to do in the event of an earthquake in our local areas.

You will need an earthquake survival kit for your home, automobile, and office, or where you spend the most of your waking and sleeping hours.

Prepare yourself and your family now. Always have an earthquake survival kit on hand and a survival plan. Here are a list of the following items and tips that can be crucial for your survival in the event of an earthquake.

You might not realize the importance of the first items, but they can help in so many ways in the aftermath of an earthquake. A will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds. Passports, social security cards, immunization records, bank account numbers, checks, cash, credit card account numbers and companies and or credit cards. An inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers, family records (birth, marriage, death certificates), and any copies of other pertinent information you might feel more secure in having.

High energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix. Comfort foods such as chocolate, candy, suckers, gum, and any other that would be a comfort to you and yours. Remember not to have foods that require alot of water to prepare. Also limit foods that would increase thirst.

Pet food, at least one ounce per animal pound per day.

A large first aid kit that is always freshly stocked with the following items. A first aid manual and know how to use it. Hot and cold packs that use no heat or refrigeration. Splint materials to set broken bones temporarily, and instructions on how to use them. Personal prescriptions and other personal medications should kept up to date in your kit. Eyeglasses, hot and cold packs that use no heat or refrigeration. Muscle rubs, materials for burns and bandages for burns also. Tylenol, ibuprofen, peroxide, alcohol, antacids, vitamins, antiseptic, antibacterial ointment, basic burn ointment, tweezers, needles and threads.

You can also take CPR and first aid classes now to be prepared for any future emergencies, including earthquakes.

The next items will make basic survival more comfortable and may aid in saving your life. Let's begin with a tarp or ground covering, blankets, easy to put up tents. A portable, battery operated radio with extra batteries. A fire extinguisher that is a dry chemical type, ABC. Flashlights, spare batteries and bulbs, also the ones that you shake that are solar powered. A watch and a battery operated or wind up clock.

You can also purchase a c.b. radio and learn how to use it. (It could be the only way to communicate, depending on the severity of the earthquake.

There are small, portable, non-electric heaters and air conditioners, that you can purchase in many outdoor stores, Army surplus stores, or on-line. I know this may seem extravagant, but staying warm or cool, may be important to you and your loved ones health. Especially if the weather is extremely hot or cold, depending on the time of year it is, and the climate you live in.

Next I will give you suggestions on other basic needs for your comfort and survival. An outdoor charcoal grill with plenty of charcoal and lighter fluid. Again, matches in a waterproof container and lighters. another suggestion would be a small propane stove with small propane bottles, or even a camping stove. various size pots and pans for cooking. Plastic resealable bags, various sizes. Plastic containers are also recommended. Paper towels, plastic trash bags, paper plates, plastic utensils, dish detergent and liquid laundry detergent.

Waste and water protection with large plastic trash bags or portable plastic water storage containers. A portable toilet. Large trash cans can be used to store things in or catch rain water in.

For personal hygiene you will need at least sunscreen, soap, shampoo, combs, brushes. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, deodorant, feminine supplies, infant supplies. Toilet paper, alot of it!

A portable toilet can be purchased at many camping supply stores for a fairly reasonable price. It has been recommended to purchase powdered chlorinated lime to add to sewage to disinfect and keep away insects. Also citronella candles will help keep away mosquitos. Newspaper can be used to wrap waste, and garbage, and can be used for warmth.

I lived in the mountains of Idaho when I was in my twenties, and later in northern Minnesota. I learned to make homemade portable heaters in case of being stranded out in a blizzard or if my car broke down. I used an empty, dry, coffee can or a similar one, place one roll of toilet paper inside and saturate it well with rubbing alcohol. You can light this in an emergency and use it for heat in your car or other places of necessary survival after an earthquake.

These essentials are also necessary to basic survival for walking on and helping clean up debris. Heavy shoes for every family member, and it would be a good idea to keep them by your bed at night. Heavy duty gloves for anyone that is cleaning up debris. Face masks, to protect you from fumes. Alot of candles for light. Sharp knives and single edge razor blades. A garden hose, to be used for siphoning and fire fighting.

Complete changes of clothing so you can be kept dry. You can use your garbage bags to store dry clothes in and then recycle the bags for another use as time goes by.

The tools you should have for helping to move debris, or making a fire are n axe, a shovel, broom, a crescent wrench for shutting off a gas main. Screwdrivers, shovels, hammers, rope or bailing wire, plastic and duct tape. A crow bar, portable heavy duty jacks, lifting tools of any kind that do not require electricity, and other digging tools that you may need.

Store these items in a sturdy dry place that can be reached readily in case of your house being damaged or worst case, collapsing. Store them in a shed, or outside in a secure, dry container.

An automobile emergency kit should be put together also. In this you will need, non-perishable food stored in coffee cans, bottled water. Comfort,stress foods such as chocolate, cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags. A good first aid kit and manual, fire extinguisher, blankets, sealable plastic bags, flashlights and spare batteries, critical medications and eyeglasses. Screwdrivers, wire, knife, and pliers. A short rubber hose, pre-moistened towelettes, toilet paper, rubbing alcohol feminine supplies, sturdy shoes, gloves, baby items and children's items as needed. Lot's of extras!

Also for the car you should have, peroxide, rubbing alcohol, antibacterial ointment, tylenol or ibuprofen. You may want to make your own large emergency medical kit to meet the needs of the individuals in your family. A 10-day supply of water, food, and medicine is recommended! Your emergency items should be enough for at least three days or longer.

In the event of an earthquake you need to stay as calm as possible. If you are inside, you need to stand in a doorway, or crouch under a desk or table away from glass windows. If you are outside, stand away from buildings, trees, telephones an electrical lines. If you are on the road, drive away from underpasses and overpasses, stop in a safe area, and stay in your vehicle. After the earthquake has stopped, check for injuries and if you are able provide first aid.

If you are at home, check for safety. Check for gas, water, sewage breaks. Also check for downed power lines and shorts. Turn off appropriate utilities and check for building damage and potential problems during aftershocks. You would want to clean up dangerous spills if at all possible. Wear shoes! If you or someone with you is able to, turn on the radio and listen for instructions from public safety agencies as soon as possible. It is recommended to use the telephone for emergencies, only.

This is where I would recommend a c.b. radio if you can afford one. Sometimes they are the best way to communicate in the event of an earthquake.

You should get to your earthquake preparedness kit if at all possible, and follow the above safety tips.
Remember there may be aftershocks, so stay in a safe area of your choice. Preferably somewhere that is away from, falling debris, away from electrical lines, and tall buildings.

Remember, it is best to be prepared before an earthquake strikes!

For further instructions I have found some very good resources here:

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1 comment:

Adam said...

Thanks for the info. great post. There is no doubt that the Japanese are very well prepared when it comes to these disasters. Americans need to get better prepared no doubt. weather with furniture straps or purchasing a good earthquake kit. It's very important we don't wait until it's too late.