When the shaking from a major earthquake stops, you will get dressed, grab your bed bag or bug-out bag and head for your family's reunion point outside your home. If the earthquake was severe enough to overwhelm emergency services and response teams, it will be declared a "disaster."
Chances are, you and your family will need to rely upon the supplies you have at home for the next 72 hours. To make yourselves as comfortable as possible, store at least a 3-day supply of water, non-perishable foods, and emergency first aid supplies.
If you find that your house has been damaged during the earthquake, or feel safer staying outside, you will also want to have some basic sheltering tools and supplies on hand. We, at PEP-C, recommend that you store all of your 72-hour emergency supplies and sheltering equipment in a safe place outside your house so that you can access them easily, quickly and safely.
Click on the 72-Hour Kit link at the bottom of the page to open a folder with a diagram of how you can store your 72-hour emergency supplies in a 33 gallon trash can with a tight fitting lid. Since the emergency food supplies for a family of 6 will pretty much fill a 33 gallon trash can in and of itself, you may want to get one can for food supplies and another can for other supplies.
This month's E-Prep Activities include collecting supplies from the following 6 categories and storing them in a safe place outside your home:
- Personal Gear
- Your Bed Bag contains a minimum of essential personal items. Upgrade your Bed Bags this month to Bug-Out Bags for each member of your family. Store your Bug-Out Bags near your bed or store the upgraded items with your 72-hour emergency kit supplies. In the event of fire or rapid evacuation, you will appreciate having more than the clothes on your back.
- 72-Hour Water Storage
- Keep at least a 3-day supply of water for each person in your household.
- 72-Hour Emergency Food Supplies
- Plan a 3 day menu of non-perishable foods. Select foods that require no refrigeration or cooking, and little or no water.
- Choose canned meats, fruits and vegetables; canned juices and soups; high energy foods, such as peanut butter, granola bars, trail mix, and beef jerky; and don't forget the comfort foods - cookies, hard candy, favorite beverages, etc.
- If stored properly in air tight, waterproof containers (such as a 33 gallon trash can with tight fitting lid), these supplies will remain good anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
- Date all food items and keep an inventory list in the container with your food supplies. Note shelf life or expiration date of each item.
- Every 6 months, review the list and replace those items whose shelf life has expired.
- For more information on the shelf life of foods as well as storage tips, follow the "Tips" link at the bottom of the page.
- Emergency First Aid Supplies
- If you completed, or are still working on, the E-Prep Activities for Month #9, you should have a good start on your first aid supply.
- Most of the injuries that occur during or after a major earthquake are minor (cuts, bruises, scrapes, burns, etc.) Decide whether you want to assign a family member to grab your household first aid kit on their way out of the house to your family reunion point, or if you want to have a set of emergency first aid supplies stored with your 72-hour emergency kit.
- If you want first aid items with your 72-hour emergency kit supplies, review the first aid information and make a list of items you think your family will need.
- Collect these items and put them in a waterproof container along with your other 72-hour emergency supplies.
- Emergency Supplies (E-Prep Month #4)
- Paper cups, plates and plastic utensils (if you don't already have a mess kit for each member of your family in your Bug-Out Bag).
- Battery operated AM radio
- Extra batteries
- Flashlights with extra bulbs and batteries
- Non-electric can opener
- ABC fire extinguisher
- Whistle (if not already in your Bug-Out Bags)
- Toilet paper and towelettes (if not already among your emergency sanitation supplies)
- Liquid soap
- Feminine supplies
- Special Items
- Extra eyeglasses, reading glasses, contact lenses & care solutions
- Prescription drugs and medications
- Baby diapers, foods and formula
- A family picture
- Games and books
- Insurance policies
- Bank account information
- Inventory of valuables
- Family records
- Sheltering Equipment (E-Prep Month #4)
- Tent(s) or tarp(s), twine or rope for shelter construction
- Lantern, extra mantles and fuel
- Camp stove, extra fuel
- Cooking pots & utensils
- Sleeping bags or emergency blankets
- Sleeping pads
Calendar a morning or afternoon this month when you can review this information with your family. If you have been completing, or are still working on, our E-Prep Program activities each month, you will notice that you already have many of these things on hand. This month's activity day should focus on storing these items in a safe location outside your home.
If you are still in the process of acquiring some of these items, keep up the good work. Preparing for disasters is a long term goal. To make the whole project manageable, we recommend that you keep on adding 1 or 2 small, or relatively inexpensive, items to your weekly shopping list and purchase 1 or 2 larger, more expensive items each month.
Plan to rotate items in your 72-hour emergency supplies kit every six months. This includes making sure the clothes you stored still fit. Calendar a day six months from now to review your inventory and rotate supplies.