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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Great California Shakeout Drill - and Earthquake Preparedness

Did you know that Thursday is the Great California Shakeout Drill? This is a good opportunity to think about the Big One and make some preparation plans. What kinds of plans? Here are some resources:

Where will you meet up with your loved ones? Do your kids know where to go if they're in the house and a quake hits? Here are some information sheets on doing your own earthquake drills, as well as safety plans for families. The government has earthquake resources/information here.

You'll need some emergency supplies at home - providing they are easy to reach and haven't been covered in rubble. Some companies provide ready-made kits you can buy like this one or this one. Of course you can make your own as well. I just saw in the Costco Connection magazine that they sell buckets of emergency food packets. These might be a little big for your family (do you really need 270 servings of macaroni pasta or 300 servings of tropical fruit varieties in a 6 gallon weatherproof bucket?) but they'd be good for a work place or community center.

Some items that are good to keep in stock at home: containers of water (like the 1-2.5 gallon jugs you can cheaply buy at the grocery store); spare cash; keep your tank of gas filled (or at least not close to empty), and batteries/flashlights.

Even if your car and house title are safely stored at the bank vault, you'll still want to know where your important papers are at home. Consider scanning important documents and uploading them to your computer. And make a folder that holds everything, so you can grab it in a hurry if needed. Backing up your computer to an external hard drive is great, but if you lose that in an earthquake it doesn't help much. Companies like Mozy, Carbonite and Dropbox are three companies who do that for you in the cloud.

What are your emergency preparedness tips?

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