The great state of California is known for many things, but it is most well-known for its earthquakes. After the Loma Prieta shook the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1990s, people in the southernmost part of this state became fearful of experiencing a similar event. Given that considerable time has passed since this devastating quake and the present moment, however, many people are no longer even cognizant of their increased risk for experiencing natural catastrophes. Following is everything that every homeowner should do after hearing the earthquake advisory in Southern California.
All households should have an ample amount of emergency supplies on hand. This is key for ensuring that no important resources are missed, particularly during the first hours and days after such a major occurrence when government authorities and support groups are most likely to be overtaxed. People will need to have everything from clean, potable water to food stores, first aid supplies and basic, shelter in place amenities following the very worst of these affairs.
Most people know that they will need fresh water in times like these. Whenever the earthquakes, there is the potential for damage and contamination to municipal water supplies, electrical fires and other problems that affect the delivery of this critical resource. Few people, however, know just how much to purchase, how best to purchase it or how to safely and effectively rotate their supplies.
One of the most important things to note about your water stores is that these don’t actually have to come from a grocery outlet. You can store water that has been captured from the tap, so long as you do this ahead of a natural disaster. Just make sure that your containers are sterile and airtight.
No matter how you secure these supplies or store them, make sure that you have no less than two gallons per day, for every member of your home. You may even want to sock away an extra gallon or two for any neighbors or other parties who are short on this resource. This is water that can be used for drinking, cooking, cleaning or treating wounds and self-cleaning.
Food stores should always be high in protein and rich with other nutrients. Avoid taking up valuable storage space with low-value foods that will not provide adequate energy and could increase feelings of hunger. Peanut butter and other nut butters, meat jerky, granola bars, beans, and whole grains are some of the best dry goods to buy.
Get a high-quality and comprehensive first aid kit. This will have a bit more than will one that has been bought at a nearby drug store. It may even include several small instruments for stitching open wounds or mobilizing broken bones. These things will be important if emergency response teams are inundated. Also, be sure to store at least a full week’s supply of any prescription medications you’re taking.
Finally, make sure that all household appliances are in good working order, particularly your HVAC system. You may need to shelter in place for a while after a major earthquake, even after power supplies have been restored. Having functional heating and cooling equipment will help your loved ones stay comfortable and safe, irrespective of how challenging the times might be.