In our previous home the main nature caused potential emergencies were tornadoes and power outages due to falling tree limbs, ice or wind. Pretty simple to prepare for so we stocked up on water, food that could be eaten cold and emergency lights. We also were clear where in the basement to huddle and paid attention to tornado watches and listened for the siren nearby.
In S. Cal it is a bit different - earthquakes being the big one to prepare for. However there can be "forest" fires, mudslides, floods, etc. Having been to this rodeo before I know it is important to be prepared to get by on your own for at least a week with no utilities, stores out of food, gas stations not operating or out of gas and ATMs not working. You also need to have "bug out" bags for each person and pet in the car and/or home. In our case since we have one car that could be gone there needs to be something at home too.
I'm fortunate that the community has a emergency response group and a ham radio tower and operators. That would help but its a community of about 3,500 people all over 55 with an average age of 72. We need to be prepared to help ourselves and others.
Enter this thorough website that the state of CA offers. I think it could be adapted to any emergency situation if you are interested in checking or improving your preparedness. Be Prepared - Individuals and Families. I like Arizona's website too: Just in Case
So what have I done in the month since we moved? Nothing but buy a couple of gallons of water.
Today I looked up the list of what to have on hand and got started with upping our water and non-perishable food supplies.
(1) Water @ a minimum of 1 gallon per person per day for a minimum of 3 days. Add in some for the dog.
- We now have six gallons and I will keep stocking up until we have at least 15. I'll also look into a good water filtering system such as is used for camping to make non-potable water drinkable.
2) Food for at least 3 days including dog food. Pick foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water added. Make sure to have a can opener, paper plates, plastic cups and silverware, etc. Canned goods such as beans, fruit, & tuna, peanut butter, dry cereal, crackers, protein or fruit bars, nuts, canned juices, etc. I read a suggestion somewhere to actually make up a 3 - 7 day meal plan with calorie counts to make sure you have the right foods stored. Good idea.
Here is a great list of non-perishables to have on hand. Some do require the ability to heat water so take that into account. Not a good idea when gas lines many have ruptured during an earthquake but helpful in other circumstances perhaps. Disaster foods
- We now have a few extra cans of beans, fruit & tuna as well as disposable plates, etc. I will make sure to always have extras of the other items on hand as well as adding more canned goods.
Next on the list is a first aid kit. Will work on that next week and keep going down the list.
Are you prepared?