Thursday, February 9, 2023

Earthquake Preparedness

It is hard to imagine that more than 20,000 people died in the earthquake that hit Turkey/Syria just a few days ago.  That's more people than some small cities!  If you have been watching the news, you have probably seen video of the massive scale of the devastation and noted that rescue efforts, while ongoing, are pretty sparse compared to the grand scale of the disaster.  This sort of thing could happen in the US as well so it just makes sense to be as prepared as possible for such an event.  Here's how to prepare:

  • Find lists of how to prepare for an earthquake and proactively take steps to get prepared (examples here, here, here, here, and here).
  • Have your bug out bag packed and ready to "grab and go" at a moment's notice.
  • Be prepared to camp out in your vehicle, back yard, or emergency shelter if your home becomes unlivable after an earthquake.
  • Be prepared to provide your own food and water for a week or two after an earthquake (emergency assistance may be days or weeks away from getting to you).
  • Be skilled in basic emergency medical care and have a well-stocked first aid kit.
  • Take as many emergency preparedness classes as possible (Red Cross first aid, CERT training, EMT training, etc).
  • Have cash on hand as ATMs and credit card services may be down after a disaster.
  • Have multiple methods of transportation as roads may be impassible for vehicles (bike, motorcycle, etc).
  • Have multiple methods for cooking (a gas burner on your patio stove or backpacking stove and fuel), electricity (a battery bank and portable solar panels), water purification (chemical or mechanical filters), sewage disposal (5 gallon bucket/bags/cat litter), heating (a propane heater/wood stove/etc), and lights (solar lights recharged during the day then brought inside in the evening, usb-powered lights, flashlights, candles, etc).
  • Practice camping and backpacking and basically living without modern conveniences for an extended period of time.  This will both test out your gear and teach you skills you won't learn in books.
  • Prepare to band together with friends or neighbors for mutual aid and safety.
  • Have digital and paper back-ups of all important documents, contact lists, home inventories, etc.
  • Have PPE equipment as well as clean up supplies on hand to use after the disaster.

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