How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part Two

How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part Two

In our last post, we began our discussion on the best ways to prepare for future quakes.  As we said, we always tell our readers that the first step, is to make sure that you have your earthquake survival gear and know how to secure your home and personal safety when an earthquake strikes.
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake - Part Two | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at https://rnn10.wordpress.com
The second, is to make sure that you’re able to grab everything you need – necessities, keepsakes, vital information – and leave for a safe location, in less than ten minutes.   This may sound impossible, but it’s a LOT easier than it sounds.  All you need is to do is ensure you have access to all the items and information that will help you get back to living your normal life, as quickly and easily as possible.
The best way to physically prepare for earthquakes, is to think through the different scenarios that could take place.  If a quake is large enough to have to “deal with” chances are, the electricity is going to go out.  Telephone and/or cell service could also be down.  In the Calexico earthquake, power lines fell, plunging the city into darkness.  That means not only means you won’t have light, but you also won’t have power for computers or televisions and radios.  Grocery and drug stores won’t be able to ring up purchases, ATMs won’t work, garage door openers might not function.  Name any tool in this world and chances are it’s powered by electricity. 
So your first defense is making sure that you always have an alternative source of power, battery powered flashlights, extra cash, a supply of canned or frozen food that doesn’t need to be cooked to be eaten, and the all important supply of water – enough to last you and everyone in your family for three days.  Your home or neighborhood might be damaged.  Broken glass and rocks will be strewn everywhere.  Rubber-soled shoes, a warm jacket and other emergency gear should be easily reachable from your bed or right inside your closet.   Since most earthquakes happen in the middle of the night — don’t ask me why — you really need to make your bedroom earthquake ready. We have an entire post on it here on the blog.
Here’s a video we created called “How To Make Your Money Accessible Whenever You Need It”, that gives you a simple formula you can use to estimate how much cash you would need to have in the house to get through an emergency.  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyDqgz7cX9c
There are literally hundreds of sources that can give you tremendous lists of what you should have on hand during an earthquake, including our web site.  Even more will give you specific instructions on what to do before and after a quake – for example, how to turn off your gas line, or when to boil your water – so we won’t get into details like that.   You should also create or update your evacuation checklist, detailing the items that you and your family would need if you were unable to live in your home for three or more days.  This includes all of your necessities, prescriptions, vital documents (or access to them on portable hard drives, online or in out of area safe deposit boxes), keepsakes, personal and professional contacts, ID and basic medical history and anything else that your family will need while evacuated.
But I want you to think about something.  Think about the last few earthquakes – or hurricanes for that matter.  Think about the coverage you saw on CNN or the local news.  Think about the faces of the people in the midst of the quake zone or the storm.  They looked shell-shocked, terrified, lost.  Most of those people, were at least moderately prepared for a disaster.  Those in earthquake country most likely had stockpiled some food and water, those in hurricane country might even have evacuated and done everything their local news and emergency authorities told them to do.  And yet, after the disaster, they were standing there, scared and helpless, because their homes, the people they loved, and basically their entire lives have been destroyed to the point that their own existence was now unrecognizable.  All of those people, rich and poor, young and old — they all had one thing in common.  They had NO idea where to go and what to do from here.
And THAT – knowing what to do and where to go after the disaster, is the next step.  The most important step of all.
Continued in part three…

How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part Three

How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part One

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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How to Get Ready For An #Earthquake – Part One

How To Get Ready For An Earthquake 

quake

As longtime residents of Southern California, we know how difficult it can be to spend the days and weeks after a quake, living in earthquake mode.  The phenomenon isn’t really something you can explain to someone who hasn’t experience it personally.  New Californians are always asking how they’ll know if what they feel is a quake, or just an especially loud garbage truck. 

There’s only one answer to that question.  You’ll know! 

And sure enough when it happens, they’ll say, “you were absolutely right!”  An earthquake combines two things that most humans hate– the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises.  Feeling like the floor is going to crack open and swallow you, while listening to your house, cracking and groaning, while glass, bricks and your best china crashing to the ground around you, is a horrible sensation.

So what’s the best way to prepare for an earthquake?

Earthquakes are probably the most difficult type of disaster to prepare for, for two reasons.  First, there is absolutely no warning when one is going to strike.  Second, you never know how or where it’s going to strike.  Two earthquakes of the same magnitude aren’t necessarily going to have the same destructive capability. 

A shallow 5.0 quake, can potentially create more damages and injury than a 7.0 quake centered deep within the earth.  Shallow earthquakes mean more shaking and more cracks and fissures in the earth, which in turn damages more  buildings, streets and injures more people.  You also have to factor in how close the earthquake is to your home and where your home is located.  We once experienced a 1.5 quake that was centered very close to our home and knocked books off the shelves – while a 6.4 earthquake 30 or 40 miles away got us out of bed, but left our possessions exactly where the were the night before.

In earthquake country “location, location, location couldn’t be more true.  Remember the parable of the man who built his house on the sand versus the man who built his on the rock?  Those guys must have lived in earthquake country!  

It’s called liquefaction.  Especially in California, in areas where there are high concentrations of sand in the soil – aka high priced beach communities – the violent shaking of an earthquake causes water underground to rise up through the sandy soil, turning pseudo solid earth beneath homes to turn into liquid, swallowing anything above it – houses, stores, freeway on ramps.  Making sure that your home is build on rock solid ground is a great first step to long term earthquake safety.

The final reason that earthquakes are so hard to prepare for, is that they tend to happen very early in the morning.  Imagine being shaken out of a sound sleep, only to realize that your bed, your walls and your floor are all moving in opposite directions, while you try and remember the first item on your disaster checklist!  Not going to happen!

Here’s how YOU can prepare.

The first step?  Make sure that you have your earthquake survival gear and know how to secure your home and personal safety when an earthquake strikes.

The second, is to make sure that you’re able to grab everything you need – necessities, keepsakes, vital information – and leave for a safer location, in less than ten minutes.   Which is a lot easier than it sounds.

Continued in part two…

How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part Two

How To Get Ready For An Earthquake – Part Three

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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