Disaster Preparedness Tips


Every October, around the anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, I review the contents of our earthquake kit, and add and replace things as necessary. I've already written about what I keep in my kit. But with the wildfires that have been ravaging the North Bay, it's given me occasion to think differently about how to organize my supplies. The suddenness with which these fires spread illustrate the need to have a kit at the ready. Many people had to flee their homes immediately and literally had to run for their lives. Be sure to have a "go bag" with your most essential items placed conveniently near your front door. By having this at the ready, you won't have to make crucial decisions in a moment of urgency. A few things to consider including in your go bag are:

  • Medications

  • Digital backup of important files

  • Spare car and house keys

  • Contact info for family and friends

  • A flashlight

  • Phone chargers

  • An Ultra High Capacity battery

  • CASH! I have about $500 in $5 bills.

  • Anything else you consider essential

  • N95 Masks or the more fashionable N99 masks

Also consider keeping a concise emergency kit in your car, in the event that you cannot get to your home kit, or you are not home when a crisis occurs. I also try to keep my tank at least half full. There have been stories of evacuees being on the road for several hours before reaching safety; make sure you have enough gas to get where you need to go.

Don't forget your four-legged friends. Make sure your kit contains collars, leashes, harnesses, and a crate.  I purchased booties for my dog, Giro, and put in my kit.  Though he won't like them, they will protect his paws if we have to walk around city streets with broken glass and debris.

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