*This article originally appeared on The Prepper Journal
Picture this in your Mind… You are a child, your family has gone camping for years, – you and your brother have been involved with Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls for years and your family has just moved into a new home.
Early one morning all is quiet. Everyone is in bed asleep when the room starts to rock. The rumbling sound jolts you out of bed and you don’t even realize you are screaming. Broken glass is everywhere, furniture has moved. Your family cannot open the door to the boy’s room because the bed has slid against the door. An earthquake had changed our lives.
What are you doing to prepare for natural disasters?
This happened to my family. After the shaking had subsided, with no electricity, we were all looking around and assessing the damage. Half of the water in our swimming pool was gone. Our family was cleaning up, when there was a knock on the front door (we had only been in our new home less than a week.) It was the Police and he told my dad we had to evacuate. What! Seems our new house was in the Path of the Damaged water dam.
Evacuate Now! And the officer Waited for us to drive away.
What if this happened to you? What do you take? How long will we be away from home? No Answers… Most everything we had was still packed up.
Breathe. . . .
We grabbed our pets and food. our heads were all still reeling from the major earthquake; And the mental shock that goes with it. Now, where do we all go?
Breathe….. Now, before an event like this happens to you, this is the time to open your eyes…. and put together items to have for your “grab-bag”, “get-home-bag“, “urban bag EDC” (every day carry). You don’t always have to carry everything around – Just put some stuff in your car, and in the garage – leave items at work.
Read More: Earthquake Safety Checklist
Just Do It!
Don’t Wait – think of the Categories of items you use everyday: shelter / light, heat / cool, rain / snow, water / food, medication / first aid; shoes / gloves, clothes / sleeping bags / tent, tools / batteries. This also includes paperwork and account numbers and phone numbers index.
The kids need coloring books; and we all need treats–now-a-days a portable or hand crank solar charger for the tablets and cell phones is a must, and not much money.
Women have been carrying a variety of items in they hand bags for years, we have our work cases, kids have their backpacks, you might have a gym bag; and it is time to make (or expand) a separate “just in case” bag if you will. When I look back on this issue – I have been doing this for decades:
- We have a summer bag, with shoes, clothes, hat, umbrella, extra pair of sunglasses, etc. in it.
- Our winter bag has shoes, gloves, coats, hats, blanket, rain gear, etc.
- Our tool bag stays the same. So does the first aid kit.
- Most important items are a couple of large bottles of water and a flashlight.
Go right now and take your existing first aid kit out of your closet and also your car:
- Make a list and toss out the out dated stuff
- Add something new. Example: soap and steri strips – to clean and close wounds
- Don’t forget to check out your flashlight and the date on the batteries.
All easy stuff!
Have a plan, Take this week – Put a box or even a drawer or pillow case in every room, start putting things or reminder notes into the box and see what you need to buy or order. Another tip / easy / but overlooked. Where you keep any medications – just put your extra glasses or contact lenses next to them – – ready to grab if need be.
By the way… True Facts
- Our Hospital was destroyed (do you or your family have minor cuts or injuries? Do you have a zip bag with basic first aid supplies).
- Our Schools were closed for weeks (do you have a community of friends and family to help with child care?)
- My favorite (and easiest) EDC – Keep at least a half a tank of gas in your automobile – at all times – Always! Just make it a rule
What? I didn’t get Your Attention?
Here is another example:
Later in 1989 (17 years later), 350 miles north during the work week. I was getting ready to drive home, the windows in the office building starting shaking, the light fixtures were swinging back and forth. I yelled get under your desks. Another major earthquake in my lifetime… I grabbed my bag with my tennis shoes in it and streamed out the doors with everyone else.
Driving home I had to stop at a stop light, but between me and it was a freeway overpass. I stopped breathing – when safe I drove on. I got to my neighborhood but I could not go down the street. Due to the electricity transformer had caught fire. I tried calling my husband but the circuits were all busy. I got home, hugged my husband, then went to check out our friends and neighbors.
The power was out, the phones were dead – so out came the BBQ’s. (extra propane tank or briquettes, fuel, matches / lighter should be a part of your preps)
As we were taking out the trash with all the broken glass and broken items – It started to rain, then when we found our roof was damaged.
- God Forbid you really have to go to work after a major event – We did! – We were a part of the facility management for the company.
- Another basic (you would think is). Get to know your neighbors – One of the things we found after talking to friends and co-worker, was neighbors came on to their neighbor’s property and turned off the gas main. Oh my – true. When I helped my friend arrange with the power company to turn the gas back on – In this instance – it was unnecessary and caused way more harm than good. Wait time for utilities instructions, and hours to reheat a tank of water that had been off all day.
So…. Start with the basics; Be smart, Be prepared. Make connections, Get skilled. Add something to your supplies every month. (even a bag of assorted hard candy)
Ladies don’t wait for your guy to take care of this.
Thanks to all the many prepper websites, YouTube.com; and all the people who take the time and all the effort to share their information and opinion with all of us. As well as the great contributors to the Prepper Journal.