The Big One

I live in the Pacific Northwest. It seems that every time I turn around lately I’m reading about “The Big One!”, the big earthquake that’s going to hit the Seattle area.

Here are some links, in case you don’t know what I’m talking about:

I even saw a news anchor saying that if he lived in the Pacific Northwest he would move and get out of here.

Other reports say it isn’t going to be as bad as some of these news channels and the New Yorker are trying to make it out to be:

So how bad is it going to be and what, if anything, can we do to be prepared?

  1. The Pacific Northwest shouldn’t pack up and move. That’s ridiculous and simply not an option for most of us.
  2. Being prepared = peace of mind. No amount of worrying is going to stop the next earthquake whenever it hits or how bad it is so the best way to deal with it is to simply be prepared.

According to the Red Cross, here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area

Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

Note: Instead of getting overwhelmed by this list, start with what you got (if you go camping you probably already have a lot of this stuff) and add to it every time you get paid. Keep this kit somewhere where you’ll be able to get to it if the building should collapse.

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