After a major disaster like an earthquake, sometimes we lose access to things such as running water, telephones, electricity, and refrigeration. At bare minimum, you should have a survival kit and ready to survive on your own for three days.
Your disaster kit should be kept in an easily accessible location in a large, watertight container that can be moved easily. For instance, a large plastic garbage can with a lid and wheels would work beautifully.
- Store one gallon of water, per person, per day. Don’t forget to ration for your pets, too! Change water every six months.
- Use household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms:
- Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, color-safe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.
- The only agent used to treat water should be household liquid bleach. Other chemicals, such as iodine or water treatment products sold in camping or surplus stores that do not contain 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient, are not recommended and should not be used.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables.
- Canned juices, milk, soup.
- Sugar, salt, pepper.
- High energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, beef jerky, trail mix. Try to pick low sodium snacks.
- Foods for infants, elderly, persons with special dietary needs.
- Comfort/stress foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, and tea bags.
- Pet food, at least one ounce per animal pound per day.
- Avoid foods like rice, pasta and dry beans that require a great deal of water to prepare. Remember to restock your food once a year.
First Aid Kit
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Latex gloves (2 pairs)
- 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Triangular bandages (3)
- Non-prescription drugs such as Pain relievers, Anti-diarrhea medicines, Antacid, Syrup of Ipecac (used to induce vomiting with the advice of a Poison Control Center), Laxatives, Activated charcoal (used with advice from the Poison Control Center)
- Various roller bandages
- Scissors, Tweezers
- Needle, Thread, Floss
- Eye/medicine dropper
- Moistened towelettes
- Tongue depressors
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
- Instructions on use of first aid items for injuries
Tools and Supplies
- Battery (or hand-crank) operated radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cash or traveler’s checks, in case banks are closed in the days following an earthquake
- Non-electric can opener or a utility knife
- Cooking, serving, and feeding supplies
- Small fire extinguisher
- Crowbar, Pliers
- Hammer & Nails, Staple gun
- Bungee cords
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Adjustable wrench, to turn off gas and water
- Disposable camera
- Plastic sheeting & duct tape for broken windows
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Soap, liquid detergent
- Feminine supplies
- Plastic garbage bags and ties
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Household chlorine bleach
- Poop bags and scooper for pet waste
Clothing and Bedding
- Sturdy shoes or work boots (keep near your bed)
- Heavy work gloves
- Rain gear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Warm clothing
- Sunglasses (keep your spare eyeglasses in the emergency kit, too.)
- Any special needs items for children, seniors, or people with disabilities
Store copies of these in a waterproof container, ensure they are in a safe place! You don’t want these getting into the wrong hands.
- Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
In case you need to evacuate quickly, you should create a "bug out bag" (a backpack is ideal) you can grab and run with. Each person should have their own, and each should have and identification tag. Since you may not be home when disaster strikes, you may want to keep one at work and in your car as well. Consider the places you spend the most time, and prepare for it. Your evacuation-to-go bag should have the following items:
- Radio – battery operated
- Dust mask
- Pocket knife
- Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
- Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
- Local map
- Some water and high-energy food
- Permanent marker, paper and tape
- Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
- List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers and addresses
- List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
- Copy of health insurance and identification cards
- Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
- Prescription medications and first aid supplies
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Emergency blanket
- Extra keys to your house and vehicle
- Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget to make a bug out bag for your pets.
Earthquake insurance is, most likely, NOT INCLUDED in your home insurance or renters insurance policy. With the number of earthquakes happening all over the Northwest, it is more important than ever to protect your assets. Contact PLC Insurance today to get an earthquake insurance quote.
© 2016, PLC Insurance. The reader assumes all responsibilities for his/her own actions in regards to any items discussed in this report. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, federal, state and local, governing the use of any product or service described in this report in the US or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the reader. The publisher and author assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of the reader of these materials. The reader is encouraged to consult directly with his/her insurance professional.