In the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, tens of thousands have found themselves displaced permanently or temporarily. Of those whose homes have remained intact, many are temporarily without water, electricity and phone service.
“People should expect to spend at least 72 hours — if not more — on their own, taking care of themselves with very little help from emergency responders, who will be either overwhelmed or unable to get to a lot of places,” Sarah Nathe, a disaster planner at University of California at Berkeley’s Disaster-Resistant University project, told the Chronicle in October 1999. –>
In order to prepare for another such disaster here locally, we have compiled a list of supplies the American Red Cross recommends you keep on hand. Make a smaller, portable version to store in your car, perhaps in a backpack.
- Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
- Store one gallon of water per person per day. Don’t forget your pets.
- Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).
- Change this water every six months. Household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms:
- Use only regular household liquid bleach that contains 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented bleaches, colorsafe bleaches or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Add 16 drops of bleach per gallon of water, stir and let stand for 30 minutes. If the water does not have a slight bleach odor, repeat the dosage and let stand another 15 minutes.
- The only agent used to treat water should be household liquid bleach. Other chemicals (such as iodine or water treatment products sold in camping or surplus stores) that do not contain 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite as the only active ingredient are not recommended and should not be used.
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables.
- Canned juices, milk, soup
- Sugar, salt, pepper
- High energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix; foods that will not increase thirst.
- Foods for infants, elderly, persons with special dietary needs
- Comfort/stress foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereals, lollipops, instant coffee, tea bags.
- Pet food, at least one ounce per animal pound per day.
- Avoid foods like rice, pasta and dry beans that require a great deal of water to prepare. Remember to restock your food once a year.
FIRST AID KIT
- Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
- Assorted sizes of safety pins
- Cleansing agent/soap
- Latex gloves (2 pairs)
- 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
- Triangular bandages (3)
- Non-prescription drugs such as Pain relievers, Anti-diarrhea medicines, Antacid, Syrup of Ipecac (used to induce vomiting with the advice of a Poison Control Center), Laxatives, Activated charcoal (used with advice from the Poison Control Center)
- Personal prescriptions and a supply of medications
- Various roller bandages
- Moistened towelettes
- Tongue blades (2)
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
- Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Cash or traveler’s checks, in case banks are closed in the days following an earthquake
- Non-electric can opener or a utility knife
- Small fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic storage containers
- Signal flare
- Paper, pencil
- Needles, thread
- Medicine dropper
- Wrench, to turn off gas and water
- Toilet paper
- Soap, liquid detergent
- Feminine supplies
- Plastic garbage bags and ties
- Plastic bucket with tight lid
- Household chlorine bleach
- Poop bags and scooper for pet waste
CLOTHING AND BEDDING
- Sturdy shoes or work boots (keep near your bed)
- Rain gear
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Warm clothing
- Sunglasses (keep your spare eyeglasses in the emergency kit, too.)
- Will, insurance policies, contracts deeds, stocks and bonds
- Passports, social security cards, immunization records
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card account numbers and companies
- Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
- Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
**Remember to include special needs family members such as a baby or an older person might have. It is also good to store in a water proof plastic bag important family documents (passports, wills, medical records etc.) along with your earthquake survival kit.
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
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