Putting Together a Home Earthquake Kit
If you live in an area prone to seismic activity, it’s vitally important that you have an earthquake kit in your house or in your car so that you’ll have emergency supplies if you need them. Even if you don’t live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you might want to create a basic disaster survival kit to be used in case of tornados or other types of natural disasters.
Ideally, your earthquake kit should contain enough supplies for you and your family to survive for a period of up to three days. Beyond the basic considerations of food and water that are physically necessary for survival, you will also need a few additional items to help you make it through the aftermath of an earthquake.
One of the first things that you’ll need is some sort of light source in case the electricity has been knocked out in your area. Since you’re going to want to make sure that your light will work when needed, your best bet is to choose an LED flashlight or lantern since they have a drastically reduced energy usage and will keep a charge longer in storage than most standard flashlights. Test any LED flashlight that you have every few months to make sure that it still works, and if you’re using an LED lantern that has multiple lighting modes then you should take the time to test every one of its modes.
Another essential piece of equipment is a multi-purpose tool that has knife blades, pliers, screwdrivers, and even saw blades and can openers in it. Be sure to store your multi-purpose tool with your LED lantern or LED flashlights so that you can find it quickly once you’ve located your light source. You’d be amazed at how useful a multi-purpose tool can be after an earthquake, and you may even find uses for it that you’ve never considered.
Also in your earthquake kit should be a fully-stocked first aid kit so that you can treat any injuries that might have occurred during the earthquake. Make sure that you have common items such as blankets, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer with your first aid kit so that you can cover basic needs and provide warmth and sanitation for anyone who is suffering from shock as well.
Other useful things to include in your earthquake kit include enough money or traveler’s checks to be able to meet any monetary needs that you might have in case the banks are closed due to the earthquake. You should also have a safe with copies of any important documents that you don’t want to be lost or damaged in an earthquake, as well as clean clothes for both warm and cold weather so that you and your family won’t be forced to wear the same clothes for several days in a row.
Make sure that you check the expiration dates on any food or medicine that you keep in your earthquake kit, and change out any stored water that you have every few months. This will prevent you or your family members from getting sick due to expired food or stale water.
Preparing an earthquake kit is an important activity that should be done as a family to ensure that everyone knows how to use the items inside and where to find it if an earthquake occurs. Being prepared for a disaster may very well save a person’s life.
~Ben Anton, 2008
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