The media has been abuzz the last couple of weeks with the threat of the “really big one”–a large earthquake predicted to hit here in the Pacific Northwest. I am not among the “doomsday” planners; however, the headlines did lead me to some conversations and thoughts about how prepared our family is–or isn’t–in the event that our area is impacted by a natural disaster. Perhaps you, too, are realizing that having a family emergency plan and kit is a wise thing to do.
There are lots of resources that outline what you should have on hand for your family (check out this suggested list from the American Red Cross). Most every survival kit list will recommend water, batteries, a radio, etc.
Also, while you can fill a large storage bin with supplies, what about when you’re not at home? Our son’s nursery school has each family put together a basic earthquake kit that is kept at school in the event there is an earthquake during school hours. Consider making a similar kit for your little ones either to keep with them at home or when they are away from you. Nearly all of the items below should be able to fit into a gallon sized Ziploc bag.
Basic Earthquake Kit Supplies
- 1 disposable rain poncho
- 1 space blanket
- 1 pair underpants or diaper
- 1 packaged flashlight with extra batteries
- 2 aseptic juice boxes
- 2 small cans canned meat (like tuna with an easy open top or similar)
- 1 small container fruit or pudding which doesn’t need refrigeration
- 1 set plastic silverware
- 1 pack travel tissues or wipes
- 1 protein/energy bar
- gum (optional)
- picture of your child’s parents/family (optional, but helpful in the event you are not with them)
- a small, fun toy (optional)
It’s never a bad idea to be prepared, and for $20-$25, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to make sure your little ones have the unique items that they need in the event an earthquake (or any other disaster) hits our area. Consider having children create these kits with you, as it can be a good way to get them comfortable and familiar with disaster plans. You should also help them learn their address and phone number at a young age (or include a card with that information in your traveling kit).
In addition to an emergency kit, it’s also a good idea to sign up for emergency alerts and review your insurance policies (keep contact information in your main survival kit).
I can’t tell you if or when the “really big one” will hit, but I think we can agree that preparation is always preferred to panic!