Earthquakes occur without warning and can affect everyone in a region within seconds. In the event of the next one causing serious damage, make sure you’re prepared with these handy tips.
Here is what you’ll need!
Earthquakes are one the world’s most deadly natural hazards. Large earthquakes often strike without warning in areas of high population density, which can lead to catastrophic events.
It is estimated that there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. 100,000 of those can be felt by people, and of those, 100 of them cause damage.
In the US alone, the NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year, or approximately 55 per day. All 50 states and 5 US territories can get earthquakes, but the risk is higher in identified seismic zones. Some of the areas most at risk include: the San Andreas Fault in California; the Cascadia Subduction Zone in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska; the New Madrid Fault Zone in Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky; and smaller East Coast zones such as the mid-Atlantic, coastal South Carolina, and New England
Earthquakes occur without warning and can affect everyone in a region within seconds. Make sure you’re prepared with these handy tips.
EMERGENCY TOILET & SUPPLY KIT
5-gallon bucket with lid
Trash bags (minimum 5-gallon capacity)
2-gallon bucket with lid
Emergency supplies to suit your needs
Trim a pool noodle to fit the circumference of the 5-gallon bucket.
Using a sharp utility knife or sturdy scissors, cut a slit down the length of the pool noodle to open it up. Be careful to only cut through only one side.
Line the bucket with heavy duty trash bags. For safety and hygiene, use at least 2 bags to start.
Fit the pool noodle onto the opening of the bucket, over the bags.
Pop the steel handle off the side of the bucket. Thread a roll of toilet paper through and pop the handle back into the side.
Fill the smaller 2-gallon bucket with emergency supplies that you and your family will need (don’t forget your pets too!).
Start with a custom emergency checklist that includes important phone numbers you’ll need, medications, and supplies that you’ll need to check periodically.
Food & water – ideally you should include enough drinking water and shelf-stable, nonperishable food to last you and your family for 72 hours.
Foods that don’t require cooking or heating are best; and if using canned food, check if you need to also include a can opener! Drop some cutlery in the kit too.
Schedule to check all expiration dates as necessary and remember that water bottles have use-by dates also.
Hand crank portable radio – it may be necessary to rely on news and communication if power is disrupted and lines are down. Include extra batteries.
Portable lighting – flashlights, light sticks or other battery-powered LED lights are best. Avoid candles in case of potential gas hazards. Include spare batteries, and test batteries periodically.
First aid kit and toiletries, including any prescription and over-the-counter medications, glasses, contact lenses and solution etc
Wet hygiene wipes for body and hands and hand sanitizer are useful if the water goes out
Dust mask and gloves
Shelter and warmth – emergency blankets, regular blankets, tarps, even just an old towel, hand warmers
Toolkit – wrench in case you need to shut of gas or water valves, and a multi-purpose tool for general needs.
Store the smaller bucket inside the larger bucket. The pool noodle can be removed from the top and stored inside too, along with the toilet paper. Keep the bucket in a handy location.
Additional and duplicate supplies should be stored separately in easily accessible locations around the house and other frequented places like your car, workplace etc.
It’s best not to have heavy objects like mirrors or large frames hung or displayed above beds or couches. Otherwise, anchor them in studs or interlocked hooks to prevent them from falling and causing serious injury.
Close hooks from other hanging items by bending them shut with pliers or wrapping them with wire.
Secure precarious furniture such as tall shelves and television screens with furniture straps or L-shaped braces.
Use museum putty or other nonpermanent sticky putty to hold smaller breakables in place.
Alternatively, install low, decorative guardrails across shelves and display units to keep items from sliding off. A simple lip from scrap wood can also do the trick.
Avoid keeping the heaviest items on the top.
Keep a pair of sturdy shoes, a flashlight and even a hard hat under your bed.
Attach velcro to additional flashlights and store them near electrical panels, gas and water valves, and other important utilities for quick access.
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