Friday, August 22, 2008

Prepere: Earthquake Survival Kits

I have read of a number of earthquakes in China and California the past few weeks. Unlike most natural disasters, earthquakes are nearly impossible to avoid if you live in a earthquake prone area.

Having a good earthquake survival kit is two fold; it is there if a quake strikes and it can also be used for a "bug out" or "get out of dodge" bag.

I found a great list on the internet of supplies which are mandatory for an earthquake survival kit. Being a flatlander who lives in non-quake country, this type of reading is mandatory and enlightening.

Besides the standard water (two quarts per person per day, don't forget the pets!) and food (non-perishable, canned, needs no heating, ready to heat), an earthquake survival kit should include items most likely associated with quake preparedness.

First instance, tools. More than your standard all in one Gerber multi tool, but heavy duty tools like shovels, picks, crowbars, axes and pipe wrenches. In a post-earthquake survival situation, you may be called upon to rescue friends and loved ones from collapsed structures.

And all the debris calls for heavy duty boots, dust masks, hard hats and thick palmed gloves. Many of the items found in an earthquake survival kit would be a surprise in a standard home or car emergency kit.

What about shelter? If the home is damaged by the quake or is at risk from aftershocks, most earthquake survival kit owners have temporary shelter one hand such as a tent, tarp or other temporary shelter.

Here was a novel item on the earthquake survival kit; powdered lime for the "natural toilet" to control odors and keep away pests. After a quake, most survivors have no intention of abandoning their home and wish to protect their possessions. That means roughing it on site until organized help arrives.

An earthquake survival kit has a greater number of contents than the standard survival kit, but has a greater and more pressing need in earthquake prone parts of the world. Those of us into preparedness can learn quite a bit from the earthquake crowd about everyday preparedness.

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