In light of the recent earthquakes, below are some helpful tips prepared by Sonali Fiske.Â Thank you Sonali!
How many of us have an earthquake emergency kit in our car let alone in our home? Assuming that you have the later, PLEASE consider assembling one for your car. We commute a lot & while we’re surrounded by resources/supplies within our home, if we’re lucky enough to be there should an earthquake strike, we don’t always know what to do if in our car. I don’t know, but I feel as if the year 2010 is giving us plenty of guidance.
Here’s a checklist of items you should have in a car earthquake kit. This is based solely on my own research & it’s not endorsed by FEMA or any other disaster agency, so it’s not a comprehensive list. Make sure supplies are adequate for you + one person. Think self-sufficiency!
These items need to be compact & kept in a nylon backpack, so that it’s ready to go if you’re forced to travel on foot. (Also, you can purchase various ready-made kits online for about $45-100). Make sure you periodically check your kit for expiration dates, etc.
- Energy food bars (or dried fruit, nuts, crackers) – preferably with 2400 calories or more to keep you fueled for an extended period of time
- Light sticks – Usually has 12-hours of life or a shake light (which charges when you shake it). Don’t bother with the battery-operated flashlights.
- Emergency potable water pouches/boxes – not the plastic bottles, they only have a 6-month shelf-life. The U.S. Coast Guard approved boxes/pouches have a 5-year shelf-life & safer to keep in your cars.
- Running shoes – especially for those of us that are prone to wear high heels & if you’re forced to travel on foot.
- Whistle. Helpful if you need rescue. Each firefighter has one.
- Dust mask. Reduces risk of inhaling toxins & dust
- Multipurpose knife. Swiss Army type knife is best.
- Antibacterial Wipes. To ward off germs
- First Aid kit: (Place all these in a Ziploc bag) band aids, pain med, antibiotic ointment, sterile gauze, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, vinyl gloves, (and for the girls, tampons).
- Contact info: VERY IMPORTANT – on a 3×5 card, have loved ones phone numbers/addresses). If the cell towers are down, you may not have access to your phone. And how many of us have numbers memorized. Not me
- Water Purification Tablets. To purify unsanitary water. One tablet purifies one liter of water
- Emergency Blanket – The Myler ones retain 90% of body heat
- Travel-sized toilet paper/Tissues.
- Cash. At least $50 in cash, with a couple of dollars in loose change. Most banks/ATM’s may be out of service.
- Radio. Your car radio is your primary source for emergency broadcast information. Make sure it’s always in working order.
- Map. Have a map of you local area, in the event GPS systems are unavailable.
Also, for those of you in the OC, check out the following class. For those of you outside of OC, please check with your local Red Cross chapter to see if they’re offering these classes in your area:
Red Cross to Offer Free Earthquake Preparedness Class
SANTA ANA, Calif.
â€“ Southern California woke up to a relatively minor earthquake this morning, but what if it were larger? What if it were the closer to the magnitude of those that struck Haiti or Chile?
The American Red Cross is offering a free disaster and earthquake preparedness class on March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at its Orange County headquarters, located at 600 Park Center Drive in Santa Ana.
Attendees will learn about different types of disasters that can impact our community and how to take basic steps to prepare for each.
â€œPreparedness is at the core of our mission,â€ said Monica Ruzich, a Red Cross preparedness specialist. â€œThis presentation will help all of us know what to do when a disaster occurs.â€
To sign up for the free presentation, please contact Monica at
or (714) 481-5329.