Create an Emergency Kit
When an earthquake hits, people may find themselves on their own for several days before emergency services can mobilize to aid the community. Experts say people should have emergency supplies for at least 72 hours on hand.
Such supplies should be kept in a portable container handy to an exit in your house. The kit will do you no good if it is buried under debris. Family members should have their own survival kits with food, clothing and water.
Important documents, extra clothing and matches should be enclosed in plastic. These items could be ruined if exposed to a broken water main or if it is raining when forced to evacuate.
Keep a light source, such as a flashlight or lantern, on top of the kit. Easy access will be important if an earthquake strikes at night.
Be sure to personalize each family member’s kit. Consider special needs. For example the elderly and the handicapped may need special medicines; babies will require diapers and the like.
Individual kits will vary, but the following list will be typical of what a survival kit should contain. Remember that each family member needs a kit. Do not forget your companion animals will also need supplies.
- 3-5 gallons of water per person
- Method of water purification (e.g. water purification tablets)
- Food for three days. Military MREs are good for this because they do not require water
- If canned food is included, do not forget a can opener
- Windproof/waterproof matches
- Tent or shelter
- Sleeping bag
- Lightweight stove and fuel
- Sturdy shoes and work gloves
- Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses and solutions
- First aid kit and supplies
- Personal comfort items such as soap, toothbrush and gel, sanitary napkins, etc.
- Cell phone
- Radio with batteries or other power source
- Portable toilet and toilet paper
- Sun block
- Eating utensils
- Mess kit
It is also a good idea to keep a spare survival kit in the trunk of the family vehicle.
Most of the required items for an individual survival kit may be found in any store that carries camping supplies. In addition, there are a number of companies that specialize in survival item