Geology And Geophysics

Earthquake Preparedness

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"Earthquake Preparedness"
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Haiti got hit with a massive earthquake yesterday and it looks like this has the makings of another catastrophic event, with over 100,000 feared dead according to Haiti's consul general to the U.N., Felix Augustin.

Haiti is a small country of 8.7 million people that occupies a portion of the island Hispaniola, that it shares with the Dominican Republic. It is a small country of just over 10,000 square miles, and one third of the population has been affected by this earthquake.

What if this happens here at home? What can you do now to help your family if this should happen here in the United States. A 7.0 earthquake directly under a minor city is going to cause some damage. Do you want to be one of those people sleeping on the street without anything to your name? Of course not, so make this the year that you do something about that nagging task on your to do list, prepare emergency kit. A great tip is to buy a large garbage container, about 50 gal size or larger. I got one at Walmart for only $16.99 on wheels with a flip top lid. This way you can pack as much into this brand new clean container that you want from your kit, then seal it up with duct tape so you will not be as tempted to "borrow" items from your kit that you might need in your day to day household, like batteries and then not re-stock them)

Then if there is an emergency and you need to leave your home or immediate area, you will have a wheeled travel container that you can bring along with you wherever you may need to go. You can buy two and you should be able to completely stock most things in a deluxe kit. You can easily store two of these trash cans in your garage tucked into a corner sealed and tight. Easier than the plastic totes that stack, because when needed, you will love the ease in which you can bring this along with you.

Be prepared and the aftermath of the earthquake will be much easier to get through with the following precautions that you can pack away for an emergency. 


One gallon of water per family member per day,  for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation. So if you have a family of 6, you should have at the least 18 gals.


You should have at the least a 3 day supply of non perishable food, but in large catastrophes, you and your family will be glad you have a week's worth or more. Above all don't forget the can opener! Pack one with your kit!


A hand crank emergency radio and flashlight are ideal for this. Don't make the mistake of buying batteries for one, then when you need it during an emergency situation, they will be dead.

Flashlight or Handcrank Lantern

You can get the flashlight radio that is hand crank, or stock up on batteries that you will only use in an emergency, make sure it is a good quality one that has enough light to see in very dark conditions. You will be most thankful for this one.

First Aid Kit

Stocked full of everything you would need in an emergency and things you would never think you would need too. Because odds are those are the things that will be in the most demand.

Bandaids, medical tape, gauze, tweezers, scissors, cotton balls, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen or aspirin, children's Ibuprofen or Tylenol,

Dust Masks

Dust Masks to help filter out the fine debris

Pet Food

You might not think to pack this, but pack a few cans of your pet food into your emergency kit for your animals. They will need help too!

Also things that you would want when going without the necessities.


Baby Powder

Baby Wipes


Toilet Paper


Paper Towels


Wash Cloths

Scotch Tape

Moist Towlettes

Garbage Bags

Twist Ties

Small Tool Kit might be helpful

Local paper maps

Duct Tape

Plastic Sheeting

(To section off an area, to make a shelter if needed from contaminates also)

Feminine Supplies

Paper cups, bowls, plates

Plastic Spoons, Forks, Knives

Waterproof Matches

Toothbrushes, toothpaste

Paper and Pencils

Things to grab last minute if you need to get out of the house or leave your house.

Cell Phones- car and wall chargers




Prescription Medication


Contacts & Lens Cleaner

Important Family Documents- Passports, Birth Certificates, Insurance Papers


Infant formula & diapers if needed

Change of clothing, or several

Heavy or warm jacket if you live where it CAN ever be cold

Fire Extinguisher


Books or activities for entertaining children

Address Book (to call concerned relatives or friends)

Laptop Computers & Chargers if you have one

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper

(When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners)

More about this author: Laura Lovell

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