Preparing for the ”BIG ONE” is not as difficult as it sounds, according to Rick Hardin, disaster specialist and owner of Homefront Emergency. “The best way to look at it is be informed, have a plan, have a good survival kit for each member of the family and then you be confident that you are ready.”
At a recent Homefront Emergency disaster workshop one of the top questions was, “how do I really get prepared for the “Big One”?
For individuals, just be aware of the risk, make a plan with your family for how to get in touch after the quake (designate someone out of state that everyone can call or text even when local service is disrupted), and build your emergency kit. We recommend people prepare themselves for 7 to 10 days vs. three worth of food and water for each person is a good idea. Your emergency kit should contain enough supplies for every member of the family. Your earthquake kit should be very portable in case you have to evacuate, also keep emergency supplies in your car and at work.
For food, ready-to-eat meals, MREs, high energy FOOD BARS or even freeze dried foods can easily be stored for years and ready when you need them. They require NO or limited preparation.
We recommend storing one gallon of water per person, per day, is a good estimate for drinking and sanitation needs, however children, nursing mothers, the sick or the injured may require more water. Chlorine tablets can purify water that is un-sanitized.
Teach your children and practice Drop, Cover and Hold (under a desk or sturdy table) and other safety exercises.
In the event of 'the big one' we all must accept the fact that following a major earthquake, life won't be back to "normal" after just three days. This is when you find out the hard way… Did you really prepare for the “Big One”? For those who prepared it will be easier for them to cope with the disaster. For those who are not prepared there will be chaos and uncertainty.
Beyond the family ”supplies” need, remember to talk about your plans with family and friends - especially about communication, which we know will be affected. Topics like An out of the area phone number to check-in with. How can they get back together? Where could they meet if not at home?
Being prepared isn't limited to gathering food and water, it's also about creating and adhering to a plan. Telling out of state family and friends about the plans and dangers may also ease their fears.
Remember when a disaster strikes it’s too late to prepare.