Earthquake Emergency Kit: What Should You Have?
Angelenos need to be preparing for the “Big One.”
With two huge earthquakes striking Mexico – less than two weeks apart – and a large earthquake hitting the Pacific (near Japan), now is a good time to make sure you’re ready for substantial seismic activity.
Every earthquake emergency kit should have enough supplies to last you for at least three days. The most important items are obviously water, food and First Aid, but if you’re stuck for three days or more without water and power, you’ll want to include much more in your kit.
See Julian Construction’s Recommendations for an Earthquake Emergency Supply Kit Below
Water: You’ll want at least a 3-day supply of water for each person in your household, and each person will need about 1-gallon of water per day. Remember to include enough water for your pets and a little extra for children, nursing mothers and any elderly or sick people. You’ll want to store your water in plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles. Don’t keep water in any material that can decompose, and you’ll want to change the water every six months.
Food: Keep a 3-day supply of non-perishable, ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables milk, juices and soups. Only use foods that require no refrigeration, cooking and very little water. Make sure to pack a manual can opener, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, in addition to food for your pets. You can also include:
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit & Nuts
- Comfort foods (cookies, candy, coffee and tea)
First Aid Kit: During or after a sizeable earthquake, there may be injuries inflicted from the damage. People can be cut, burned or suffering from other wounds which require medical attention. Pack a First Aid kit that has basic supplies, which will allow you to treat minor injuries on the spot. You should have:
- Soap and antibiotic sanitizer
- Sterile gloves
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn ointment
- Bandages of many sizes
- Eye drops and/or contact solution
- Prescription medications
- First Aid manual/book
- Non-prescription drugs (like aspirin or other pain relievers)
Electronics & Other Items: After a major disaster, you may be without electricity, gas, cell service and internet. You can prepare for this by packing:
- Fully charged cell phone, battery back and extra phone charger
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask or cotton shirt to help filter air
- Moist towelettes for sanitation
- Wrench or pliers
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape for shelter
- Garbage bags
- Paper towels
- Cash or travelers checks
- Fire extinguisher
- Compass and maps
- Signal flare
- Matches and lighters
- Paper, pencil & pens
- Feminine supplies
- Extra eye glasses, contact lenses
- Personal hygiene items
- Copies of important documents or family records
Clothing and Blankets: In addition to the supplies listed above, if you have to evacuate from your home you will need extra clothing & blankets. You’ll want to pack one complete change of clothes, a jacket or coat, long pants, a long-sleeve shirt, strong shoes, a hat and gloves, rain gear and a sleeping bag.
Plan for babies & seniors: If you have an infant, you will want to include formula, diapers, bottles, powdered milk, medications, moist towelettes and diaper rash ointment.
For senior citizens, you’ll want a list of their prescription medications, extra eye-glasses and hearing aid batteries, a list of the style and serial numbers for medical devices, extra oxygen, wheelchair, copies of medical insurance, list of doctors and emergency contacts, in addition to all other emergency supplies.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to be proactive about earthquake preparation and safety. Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.