2 Apr 2014
Anyone who has been through an earthquake, even a minor one, knows how scary they are. There is nothing like being woken up at 4:33am from the sound a rumble and everything around you shaking. Growing up in South Florida, we didn’t have earthquakes, but serious hurricanes. Whether you wake up on the West Coast to shaking of an earthquake, or are normally glued to The Weather Channel during hurricane season, it’s a good idea to have a gameplan for emergency situations. With earthquakes you MUST PREPARE NOW and with hurricanes you can start prepping, but you at least have fair warning!
I offer several tips on emergency kits in my book Organize, & Create Discipline, and thought I’d share them with you in light of the recent rumblings that have been striking the California area, and with hurricane season just around the corner for my East Coast friends.
1. Emergency Kits should be present in your home, in your office and in your car. You never know where you’ll be when an incident occurs.
2. Obviously, different geographic areas are prone to different emergencies, so some custom tailoring is warranted, but a good emergency kit should keep you prepared for anything that may come for at least three days regardless of tornado, earthquake, or other disaster.
3. First, make sure each kit has a list of emergency phone numbers and addresses in case members of your family are separated when the emergency occurs. Have this information on your phone as well.
Home or Office Emergency Kits
The emergency kits kept in your home and office should be comprehensive and contain the following:
- at least a half-gallon of potable water per person per day
- nonperishable canned food and dehydrated food items such as cereals, dried fruits, and nuts— avoid salty foods that make you thirsty and take into account any dietary restrictions for you or your family
- a solar-powered radio
- an LED flashlight with extra batteries
- a standard first-aid kit
- a fire extinguisher
- any prescription medications taken by you or your family
- a pipe wrench for turning off gas and water valves
- a waterproof bag containing at least a hundred dollars, paper copies of important documents like IDs, credit cards, and insurance policies
- a lighter and matches, but remember, you don’t want to use matches or candles until you are 100 percent positive there is no gas leak
- a whistle
- a set of clean clothes for each person
- a good knife with at least a three-inch blade
- and baby wipes.
Additional Emergency Resources
- For an even more comprehensive list of supplies tailored for earthquakes, check out this article from the Southern California Weather Authority.
- For my friends on the East Coast, visit the National Hurricane Center online for some insightful resources including how to develop an evacuation plan.
- A great comprehensive list for building any disaster kit can be found at ready.gov
Keep your emergency kit in an easy-to-access place in your home, reachable in a moment’s notice, but out of the way, and make sure everyone knows where it is.
The kit in your car can be less comprehensive to save space, but it should still contain a full change of clothes, including a pair of shoes, a twenty-dollar bill, a bottle of water, a flashlight, and a Swiss army knife.
Every few months, check your emergency kit and update it with fresher materials and based on any new needs you have. An outdated emergency kit isn’t going to help you if you forgot to add the medication you now take.
Taking an hour or two to assemble a kit and a plan is worth it – it may save your life or your family later! Stay safe my friends!
For additional insight on all things organization, check out my book Organize & Create Discipline.