Have you been keeping up with events in New York and the east coast? And then we have had two major earthquakes here in BC in the past week. BC has dodged the bullet so far. The quakes were off shore and were the result of Teutonic plates sliding under, not hitting. THAT could have been a whole different animal.
I used to be very involved in Emergency preparedness when I was working in Vancouver. My Union officers assigned me to a committee that included people from Safety Committees and other stakeholders and it was always a frustrating experience to see the amount of bickering and protection of ones fiefdoms. I could quote chapter and verse about the infighting and stupid game playing that went on.
However..that is not the intention of this Blog entry. It is to help people prepare for an event that you had best hope and pray never happens.
First...make a list of what you think you would need...cut/paste/copy this list, and then read and amend it to suit your needs.
Use the KISS method in all of your planning....Keep It Simple Stupid. And really...make a very intense effort to do this...the trickier you make your plans, the more built-in-failures there are. And..you might not be there to make it all happen. You might be away, injured or dead. The kids and other adult MUST know where the stuff is and how to make-do.
Anywhere you see italics used in the following lists is my addition. I am posting this from BC's site. Go surfing for more, in tune with where you live.
Your emergency suppliesBe prepared to be on your own without help for 72 hours or more--- at home, in your car, at work. Assemble these emergency supplies and keep them in your emergency kit, stored in a secure place, ideally accessible from outside.
First aid kit and instruction booklet.
(not a huge trauma kit in a can. THINK. Bandages, anti-bacterial ointment, sling making material. Bug stuff, sun stuff.
Shelter- a plastic tarp, a small tent, emergency ("space") blankets, or even some large garbage bags.
Water- at least four litres of water per person, per day, in tight-lidded non-breakable containers. That's at least 12 litres per person for a three-day supply.
Keep a supply of water purification tablets in your emergency kit. Water also can be made safe to drink by using four drops of liquid household bleach in 41/2 litres of clear water or 10 drops in 41/2 litres of cloudy water. Also iodine can be used. Replace stored tap water at least every six months. (you can make a water filter using a piece of any cloth...gets the bugs and crud out....it does not have to be sparkly clear and clean...you are going to be using bleach or iodine to purify.)
Disinfecting: Disinfecting with household bleach kills some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms. The bleach must contain chlorine in order to work. Don't use scented bleaches, color-safe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleaners. Most household chlorine bleaches have 4-6 percent available chlorine, in which case add 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water (2 drops per litre), stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Check the label; if the percentage of available chlorine is around 1 percent, or you don't know what the percentage is, use 40 drops per gallon/ 10 drops per litre; if the percentage is 7-10 percent, use 4 drops per gallon or 1 drop per litre. Double the amount of chlorine if the water is cloudy, murky, or colored, or if the water is extremely cold. If, after sitting covered for 30 minutes, the water doesn't have a slight chlorine odor, repeat the dosage and let sit for another 15 minutes.Disinfecting with iodine: This is generally less effective than chlorine in controlling the parasite Giardia, but it's better than no treatment at all. Add 5 drops of 2 percent iodine (from the medicine chest or first aid kit) to every quart or litre of clear water; add 10 drops if the water is cloudy. Let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.
If the water is still running, fill a bathtub and other containers. Remember, there's water available too in a hot water tank and toilet reservoir.
Food- keep a supply of non-perishable food handy, such as canned and dehydrated food, dried fruit and canned juices. Rotate periodically to keep them fresh. Remember a manual can opener. (if you have dried/dehydrated foods..you need water to use them. Have lots of stuff in cans.)
Flashlight and spare batteries. Keep the flashlight near your bed. Batteries should be separate in your kit. (get one of those flashlights and radio's that you can power up by hand)
Battery AM/FM radio and spare batteries, stored separately in waterproof bags.
Essential medication and supplies for infants, elderly persons and those with special needs. Keep at least a one-week supply in your emergency kit. Include copies of prescriptions for your medicine and glasses.
Personal toiletry items- toilet tissue, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.
Class ABC fire extinguisher. Keep it in a handy location in your home, after testing according to directions.
Wrench (crescent or pipe) to turn off natural gas. Keep it in a handy place or in your emergency kit. (DO NOT turn off the gas UNLESS there is a broken pipe. You need to heat.)
Shoes- heavy enough to protect from broken glass and other debris. Keep them handy, wherever you are.
Mine...a shovel and plastic bags and lime from the garden store. Dig a couple holes and line them. 1.5 hours after the event, people have to go to the toilet and not to pee. Excrement is germ ridden and the spread of disease will cripple rescue efforts and kill people in a hurry..
Other items you may wish to include:gloves, outdoor/winter clothing
waterproof matches and candles- but don't use them if there are gas leaks or spilled flammable liquids
money, including coins (25 cents) for telephones, because banks and credit cards may not be usable
a sleeping bag for each member of your family
a portable toilet
rope, heavy tape
a crowbar or prybar
a gasoline generator and a rated extension cord
earthquake buddies for children (eg: stuffed animal, doll game)
evacuation pack for each person (see below)
vehicle pack for each vehicle (see below)
office pack (see below)
Evacuation packThe items in this list are in addition to the supplies in your home emergency kit. They should be kept in a separate pack (eg., in a tote bag) which each person would take individually if you have to evacuate.
Remember packs for small children, the elderly, the handicapped in your home. The evacuation pack should be stored in a secure place with your other emergency supplies.
food- dehydrated, dried fruit, high-energy bars, etc- enough for 72 hours
first aid kit and booklets
flashlight and batteries
money, including coins
photographs of your family, friends
gloves and other warm clothing
I think that having a bag with stuff is crucial. I do not recommend buying one...for one thing, you don't really know what's in there and the quality of it. Plus..it's made up with lots of pre-packaged shit...lots of space gets taken up with that. But...having anything is better than nothing.
The term "bug-out bag" is related to, and possibly derived from, the "bail-out bag" emergency kit many military aviators carry.In the United States, the term refers to the Korean War practice of the U.S. Army designating alternate defensive positions, in the event that the unit(s) had to displace. They were directed to "bug-out" when being overrun was imminent. The concept passed into wide usage among other military and law enforcement personnel, though the "bail-out bag" is as likely to include emergency gear for going into an emergency situation as for escaping an emergency.
Other names for such a bag are a "72-hour kit", a "grab bag", a "battle box", a "Personal Emergency Relocation Kits" (PERK), a "go bag" or a "GOOD bag" (Get Out Of Dodge).
RationaleThe primary purpose of a bug-out bag is to allow one to evacuate quickly if a disaster should strike. It is therefore prudent to gather all of the materials and supplies that might be required to do this into a single place, such as a bag or a few storage containers. The recommendation that a bug-out bag should contain enough supplies for seventy-two hours arises from advice from organizations responsible for disaster relief and management that it may take them up to seventy-two hours to reach people affected by a disaster and offer help. The bag's contents may vary according to the region of the user, as someone evacuating from the path of a hurricane may have different supplies than someone one that lives in an area prone to tornadoes or wildfires.
In addition to allowing one to survive a disaster evacuation, a bug-out bag may also be utilized when sheltering in place as a response to emergencies such as house fires, blackouts, tornadoes, and other severe natural disasters.
Typical contentsThe suggested contents of a bug-out bag vary, but most of the following are usually included:
- Enough food and water to last for 72 hours. This includes:
- Water for washing, drinking and cooking. Canada recommends 2 litres per person per day for drinking plus an additional 2 litres per person per day for cleaning and hygiene. New Zealand recommends 3 litres per person per day for drinking. US recommends 1 gallon (3.78 litres) per person per day.
- Non-perishable food
- Water purification supplies
- Cooking supplies
- A first aid kit
- Fire starting tool (e.g., matches, ferrocerium rod, lighter, etc.)
- A disaster plan including location of emergency centers, rallying points, possible evacuation routes, etc.
- Professional emergency literature explaining what to do in various types of disaster, studied and understood before the actual disaster but kept for reference
- Maps and travel information
- Standard camping equipment, including sanitation supplies
- Weather appropriate clothing (e.g., poncho, headwear, gloves, etc.)
- Bedding items such as sleeping bags and blankets
- Enough medicine to last an extended evacuation period
- Medical records
- Pet, child, and elderly care needs
- Battery or crank-operated radio
- Lighting (battery or crank operated flashlight, glow sticks)
- Firearms and appropriate ammunition
- Cash and change, as electronic banking transactions may not be available during the initial period following an emergency or evacuation
- Positive identification, such as drivers license, state I.D. card, or social security card
- Birth certificate and/or passport
- Fixed-blade and folding knife
- Duct tape and rope/paracord
- Plastic tarps for shelter and water collection
- Slingshot, pellet gun, blowgun or other small game hunting equipment
- Wire for binding and animal traps
There is a second Blog entry on this topic.