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Thinking about the unthinkable


Part of what makes a disaster a disaster is that you aren’t ready and suffer the consequences. This summer I made disaster preparedness a priority and it was easy to get everything ready. The peace of mind I have now was worth the small amount of effort I put in.

First, an evacuation plan is a must. Gather with your family and discuss the best ways to get of the house. Look for two ways out of every room. And practice.

Second, emergency supply kit. I got mine on the internet and it was all done for me. It has batteries, a radio, thermal blankets, first aid kit, water, food bars, light sticks and a flashlight. It also has a tool to turn off the gas line in an earthquake. I set my pack on a case of bottled water and I keep it all together near an outside door. If you must evacuate the house, the supplies need to be within easy reach from outside. You can buy these kits for your car as well. An extra set of any prescription drugs and contact lens cleaner is not a bad idea to include.

Keep copies of all important documents in a binder near the emergency kit. Important phone numbers including friends, family, doctors, and utility companies. Keep copies of your insurance paperwork and personal identification. Any regular medication you keep should also be documented.

For earthquakes, walk around your house and make sure the tall furniture is bolted to the wall. Mirrors, large framed glass pictures and other breakables on the wall can be secured with earthquake hangers which prevent them from falling. Think about what is hanging over your bed. If you are asleep when a quake happens, perhaps the large glass framed picture is not a great idea. Museum wax will hold down your breakables on shelves and mantels.

All of this stuff is easy to find on the internet, but also in your neighborhood at a local hardware store. It’s worth the effort.


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