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
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?