Thursday, April 30, 2009

Be Prepared

About a month ago the San Fernando Valley was all a-twitter because it had been reported that a major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault was "imminent" and "likely". I've lived on the San Andres for my entire life and if there is one thing I know for sure it is that we TOTALLY CANNOT PREDICT EARTHQUAKES. Even so, we were intrigued enough by the 'evidence' cited that Boy and I took the opportunity to put together a real, grown up earthquake kit.

We bought a big, under bed size plastic tub from Target and filled it with:

- A very comprehensive first aid and basic medical supply kit like this one, except ours was rounded out with flashlights, batteries, thermal blankets and glowsticks (you know, in case we want to throw a rave or something)
- A 12 pack of bottled water
- A 6 pack of Balance Bars
- Jolly Ranchers (This was actually suggested on the preparatory lists I read. I'm not entirely sure why, but I like Jolly Ranchers, so I got them.)
- Plastic bags
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Hand sanitizer
- Baby wipes
- Toilet paper
- An old sweatshirt, pair of shoes and pair of socks for each of us
- Spare glasses for me
- A multi-use wrench/screwdriver/saw dohickey that boy insisted we might need
- A wind up cel phone charger
- A wind up flashlight/ AM/FM radio combo like this one (although the one I've linked to is even more useful, since it includes a cel phone charger!)
- Spare keys
- Cash

We also have a power failure night light in our bedroom, so if the power ever goes out for any reason, the nightlight will light up automatically. Having been in the Northridge quake (and having lived only a few miles from Northridge at the time) I remember how horrifying the complete, pitch black darkness was on top of the noise, shaking, and sounds of things breaking. A little light would've kept me much calmer, I think. Also, filed under the "Things Learned From Northride" category, Boy and I are planning to install child safe latches on all of our kitchen cabinets, ESPECIALLY the high ones. My parents lost just about every dish they had in that quake (including my mom's huge collection of Depression Glass). If our cabinets had been latched, some of those pieces might have been spared.

I hope we don't need any of this stuff, to be honest. But I'm not delusional; we live on the San Andreas so we inevitably will at some point, and I'm glad to have these things handy.

What kind of natural disasters do you have to contend with in your area? What have you done to prepare for them?


Camels & Chocolate said...

Um, my mom, who previously lived in SF, is always calling me being like, "You and Scott need to have an earthquake plan. WHAT'S YOUR EARTHQUAKE PLAN?" And um, we still don't have one. Maybe we should start with this list...

Brenda said...

Natural disasters around PDX....hummm....freezing January or February. Knocks out the power. Nobody goes anywhere. A tree might fall. Wait. I have trees in my yard. About 14 of them. But at least the ground doesn't shake.

Love your new web page design.

But back to the disaster kit. No matter where you live or the disaster, a kit is always a good thing to have. Good planning!

HollyLynne said...

Camels, I'm with your mom. You need a plan! And flashlights and a radio at minimum. The biggies are crazy scary; having done some preparing will help make you feel safer.
Brenda, my mother in law in New Hampshire has to deal w/ the freezing rain/no power combo sometimes as well. What a nightmare!

Nutsy Coco said...

Way to be prepared! I never had an earthquake plan in LA even though they scared the bejeezus out of me.

Our big fear here is tornadoes and I AM NOT A FAN! Not much prepping to do though other than head for the basement and try not to have panic attacks when the tornado sirens go off. I've heard them a few times and they're creepy!

HollyLynne said...

Whoever decided it was a good idea to add sirens to the whole tornado experience was INSANE!

DomestiKook said...

OMG the shaking, breaking and darkness! I knew you then I just realized. Something we added to our psuedo-kit was a week suppy of MRE's. Meals Ready to Eat. You can get them mail order or at some Army Surplus stores. They are almost a full days calories, are self heating, some come vegetarian, and they keep FOREVER. Like 10 years I think. All wrapped up in a neat little box. For after the kitchen is empty and it's still hard to get out.

Jane said...

We have a small kit too. I found the biggest problem to be storing the stuff. I love the idea of child safe latches on the cabinets.