Earthquakes are a fact of life on the West Coast, which makes preparing for them all the more important. While minor quakes may go largely unnoticed, larger earthquakes can disrupt local infrastructure for days or even weeks at a time. Your local military surplus store should carry many, if not all, of the following supplies you will need in this emergency scenario.
Assembling a First-Aid Kit
Falling furniture, collapsing structures, and electrical fires are all common sources of injury during an earthquake. If emergency services are stretched thin or unable to reach you quickly, you must be able to manage any injuries until help arrives. A typical first-aid kit can be lifesaving in these scenarios.
A standard first-aid kit should include items like bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, alcohol swabs, scissors, hydrogen peroxide, and an over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin. Be sure the kit is easy to carry and access, and check it periodically to replace supplies. You may want to invest in a second kit for your car, in case of an emergency while you are away from home.
Stocking and Filtering Safe Water
Your second priority after an earthquake is to secure a clean supply of water. Properties with well water face bacterial contamination if the quake cracks the well's protective lining. Assume that each member of your family will need one gallon of water per day, and plan for at least three days without access to safe water.
You have two primary options when it comes to preparing water supplies. The first is to stockpile enough water to supply your family for several days or weeks. Your other option is to purchase water filtration methods and purifiers. The latter method requires a ready supply of water after the quake, but it will save on storage space beforehand. Often, a combination of both is the best solution.
Storing and Cooking Food
In most earthquake scenarios, it is likely that aid will arrive before food shortages crop up. It never hurts, however, to have a supply of clean, unspoiled food stored in a secure area. This food storage is especially important if your family includes young children or people with dietary restrictions. Emergency MREs are compact, packed with nutrition, and made to last, but canned goods can work just as well.
Building an Emergency Tool Kit
Food, water, and first aid will keep your family healthy, but you may need other tools to help recovery after an earthquake. Keep a backpack or tote bag full of basic survival supplies near the door to use or take with you as necessary. Hand tools, a knife, toilet paper, rope, and a tarp can all be very useful in emergencies.
Preparing for the Weather
Earthquakes can expose you to hazards long after the final rumble. Your home may no longer be a shelter, or you may lose electricity for an extended period of time. Keep clothing on hand to protect you from any kind of weather. A sturdy pair of boots will allow you to navigate debris safely. Like first-aid kits, it's a good idea to keep a few spare changes of clothing in your car as well.
In the case of a truly disruptive earthquake, law enforcement may not be able to respond to threats against you quickly. Most communities band together in emergencies, but theft and vandalism are not unheard of. Common self-defense items like a pepper spray can, if nothing else, give you peace of mind when you are already feeling exposed and vulnerable.
Earthquakes can occur at any time, and you can’t predict when one will bring your daily life to a stand-still. Plan ahead to ensure that when the next big one hits, your family is prepared for the challenge. Stop by Bargain Center today to pick up the supplies you need to prepare for the next earthquake, flood, or other emergency event near your home.