Earthquake strikes the BC Westcoast!
On December 29, 2015, at 23:39 PST, an earthquake shook our house for about 10 seconds.
Estimates of its intensity vary.
Natural Resources Canada initially measured this earthquake at a 4.3 magnitude and later upgraded it to a 4.7
The U.S.Geological Survey reported it as a 4.8.
I had experienced smaller tremors of this nature before, and my reaction to these tremors was nonchalant.
Tuesday night’s tremor, however, created a more lasting impression! I felt a more intense wave pass through our house and through Me, and as the seconds went by, I became less and less cocky.
Even though our house sustained no visible damage, I was immediately reminded of my need to be better prepared for such an emergency situation that we often hear will occur, in the future.
For me, late on a Tuesday night, this story came to life!
My knowledge and familiarity with earthquakes until this time was all, second hand. It was acquired from the printed word and from pictures of previous earthquakes, from different parts of the world.
How well prepared are you, … in the event that you do survive?
I spend a lot of time in the outdoors, and I often assess, review, and modify my various “kits“, in an effort to improve them and make them more relevant and complete. Talk about a real survival kit. This earthquake produced an immediate motivation to review my degree of preparedness.
These are the results of my findings.
What would be useful, if I survived?
Over the years, and from my outdoor experience, I have constructed many kits from “systems” or “classes of things”.
In a previous story, When Surviving Outdoors Is Not Required, I explored surviving a home-based disaster, such as an earthquake, a fire, or any similar 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, at work, or at school
How would you react if you were at home when the earthquake shook your house?
How would you react if you were at work and your family was at home or at school?
These are important considerations. They are not intended to foster panic. On the other hand, they are offered in an effort to minimize the panic factor and better prepare you for challenging events that we all have to face, from time to time.
After Family, what do you need to preserve and protect
This is a list of things that you should have in fire-proof/earthquake proof storage.
- family and friend’s 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 at has been destroyed or washed away. Think of Fukushima, Japan, and its 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 for further explanation. Your need for them can save your life, and they can become more important than food. When no special medications are required, think of headaches, 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.
- is your computer back-up somewhere safe?
- and everything else that is important to your well-being
What is not on my list, that should be on yours?
This list of items does apply, in part, 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.
In times of extreme need, people always help each other.
Why is this always the case?
Great disasters seem to extract the humanity from our pores, and even though they are never pleasant to deal with, they show the impressive achievements that we are all capable of achieving when our backs are against the proverbial wall.
Comments, Questions, and Suggestions
I hope that these suggestions have elevated your Earthquake Preparedness Quotient and activated your inner purpose to help your neighbor.
You can Contact Me, at the previous link, and I welcome any comments, questions, and suggestions that would make my family and friends better prepared for some future emergency.