Here in Southern California, we worry about earthquakes. We also worry about wildfires, tsunamis and mudslides.
In the midwest, there are tornadoes. On the east coast, hurricanes, like Hurrican Sandy, which devastated huge portions of the eastern seaboard.
I’ve been through some wild weather and quite a few earthquakes. When I lived on Long Island, I experienced plenty of power outages due to weather, and I remember vividly the great ice storm of 1974 (or was it 1975?), when it seemed like my entire town packed our bags and went to visit grandma and grandpa in Florida for winter break. The trees looked like they belonged in a fairy tale, covered in heavy, dangerous ice, and the houses were strung not with Christmas lights but with icicles. It was, despite the treacherous roads and possibility of impalement by a falling tree branch, quite beautiful.
However, there’s nothing like the earthquakes here in California to really make you feel, well, unsteady. For those of you who have been in an earthquake, you know what I mean – there’s the jolting, sudden kind that makes you feel as if your house has been hit by a car, and then there’s the (much more disturbing in my opinion) rolling, long lasting kind that turns the ground underneath your feet into a form of liquid dirt and makes you feel like you’re on a boat. With a hurricane or a tornado you can see what’s happening, but an earthquake comes from inside the earth, is impossible to predict, and the only visible signs come after it hits. Some believe there’s something called “earthquake weather,” when it’s especially hot and still, but they hit anytime, day or night, summer or winter.
I take comfort in being prepared for any disaster that may come my way. I have a red cross kit in my car with emergency supplies, and I have a large, plastic, covered tub from Rubbermaid in my garage with many things that I might need
if when the big one hits – that’s assuming, of course, I can get into my garage. I have a pool filled with water. At any given time I have at least 3 cases of bottled water in my garage, too. Zippo sent me a firestarter to test out, and it works so well that I will add that to my kit, also.
Here are some of the things I keep on hand, things you may not have thought of. Use this list to create your emergency kit for your family, whatever disaster you may be preparing for. Whenever a big earthquake hits, many people get busy after the fact gathering items for their disaster kit. Why not take care of it now, before anything happens?
-copies of everyone’s driver’s licenses
-a crank style radio and/or a battery operated radio and extra batteries (don’t forget to replace batteries every 2 years)
-a manual can opener and canned food
-plastic forks and spoons
-extra heavy-soled shoes and socks for each member of the household
-toothbrushes and toothpaste
-peanut butter crackers, beef jerky, raisins – any nutritious food that can keep without refrigeration for a long time
-a first aid kit
-feminine hygiene products
-large trash bags
-if you have small children, a few games, crayons, and toys are a good idea
-any prescription medications that are vitally important
–a substantial amount of cash – in a disaster there may be no way to access money electronically, and then cash will be king. Put aside as much as you are comfortable with in a safe place for just such an event.
The big one – earthquake, hurricane, tornado – is coming – it’s not IF but WHEN. Get yourself and your family ready.