Earthquake strikes the BC Westcoast !
What Is Your Earthquake Preparedness Quotient ?
On Tuesday , December 29 , 2015 at 23:39 PST , while talking to my brother on the phone , an earthquake shook our house for about 10 seconds . Estimates of its intensity vary from 4.3 to 4.8 . Natural Resources Canada initially measured it at 4.3 magnitude , and later upgraded to 4.7 , while the U.S.Geological Survey reported a 4.8 .
I have experienced 2 smaller tremors this year ( in the 2+ magnitude ) , and my reaction to these tremors was nonchalantly , ” … was that an earthquake ?… ” .
Tuesday night’s tremor however , left no doubt ! For me personally , I felt an intense wave pass through our house and – through Me!
Although our house sustained No damage , I was quickly reminded of the need to be prepared for such an emergency situation that we frequently hear will occur … in the future … ; for me , on Tuesday , it did happen .
My knowledge and familiarity with earthquakes until then , had all been acquired from the written word and from pictures of previous earthquakes , from different parts of the world .
Are You Prepared ?
Having spent a large part on my years in the outdoors , and almost always reviewing and assessing my “ kits ” , I was quickly motivated to review my degree of preparedness .
These are the results of my findings .
Over the years , and from my outdoor experience , I have constructed many kits from ” systems ” or ” classes of things ” .
On a previous blog , ” When Surviving Outdoors Is Not Required “ , I explored surviving a home-based disaster , such as an earthquake , a fire , or any such physical disaster that you could possibly face in the area that you live or work in .
This is an extension of that blog after my first real life earthquake experience . In a disaster situation there are only 2 places that you can be ; Home or AWAY from home !
If You Are AT Home
Items That Should Be In Fire-Proof , Earthquake-Proof Storage
Here is a list of things that you should have in fire-proof/earthquake proof storage .
- Family and Friends phone numbers and addresses … your close friends ARE part of your family and their well-being is important to your social structure .
- Money … good , old-fashioned Cash … handy to have at any time , however required when ATM’s are damaged , destroyed or simply Gone!
- Banking Information … accounts and numbers , in the event that the New Building you bank in has been destroyed or washed away . Think – Fukushima , Japan and Tsunami if you still have doubts .
- Insurance Policies . These include Life , Home , Vehicle and others . If your house and vehicle have been damaged or destroyed , you will need these very important documents . Without these , it may take days , weeks or even months to have your claims addressed .
- Medications … If you are on specific medications , there is no need of further explanation . Your need for them will save your life , and they can become more important than food . When no special medications are required , think of Head aches , Upset stomachs , Burns , and all the many ” things ” that can happen to children .
- Documents … Passports , Birth Certificates and such .
- Spare Clothing … Gloves and Boots ( there will be lots of broken glass ) .
- A well supplied First Aid Kit and First Aid Manual … ( you won’t be able to “google” it , if the internet is unavailable ) . Taking a First Aid course from St. John’s Ambulance would certainly be well worth the time .
- Headlamps and Flashlights … with lots of batteries for your specific models .
- Cameras and their batteries will be very useful when filing Insurance Claims .
- Bottled Water , No Cooking Required Foods and High Energy Foods .
- A Wrench to shut-off the GAS to your house if required .
- A Top-Class Fire Extinguisher .
- Extra Keys to any of your locked items .
- This is NOT the be-all ; end-all list .
This is a list of items that may or may not apply to your situation . The ones that apply , often apply to everyone , as they are necessary to our basic survival as humans . The less important ones may help you – Help Your Neighbor – should the need arise .
All great disasters seem to extract the humanity from our pores , and while these disasters are never pleasant to deal with , they always show the wonderful achievements they we are capable of producing when our backs are against the proverbial wall .
I certainly hope that this blog has elevated your Earthquake Preparedness Quotient , and I welcome any and all suggestions that would make me , my family , and friends better prepared for some future emergency , should I be unfortunate enough to become involved in one !