On Tuesday afternoon, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, an aftershock of the 7.1 magnitude quake on Sept. 4, collapsed buildings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Initial reports suggest that damage and fatalities far exceed that registered in the initial quake. Scary stuff indeed. Here in the Bay Area, a major earthquake in the next 10 years is nearly an inevitability. Whether your home is located in an area that's in danger of experiencing an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or major snowstorm, it's smart to be prepared.
The American Red Cross recommends having enough food and water on hand to support every member of your household for at least three days. They've also got a great list of other must haves you may not have thought of, including bleach and a non-electric can opener.
- Water. The Red Cross recommends one gallon per day per person, including pets. If you don't have any stored, why not make a habit of picking up a gallon or two every time you go to the supermarket?
- Food. Concentrate on ready-to-eat canned fruits, veggies, juice, and meat, as well as protein-rich snacks like trail mix and granola bars. Don't forget vitamins and special supplies for any elderly family members, babies, and pets.
- A first-aid kit with Band-Aids, latex gloves, gauze pads, a thermometer, over-the-counter drugs, and necessary prescription medications.
For the other essentials,
- Tools such as scissors, tweezers, a sewing kit, a manual can opener, a knife, and a wrench to turn off gas and water.
- Moist towelettes and antibacterial hand gel
- Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
- A hand-crank or battery-operated radio, with batteries
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- Candles and matches
- Small fire extinguisher
- Toilet paper, feminine products, and garbage bags
- Dish soap
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Rain gear
- Important documents, such as wills, deeds, passports, family records, and bank account numbers.
- A list of important phone numbers