Being Prepared for an Earthquake
There are many zones worldwide with moderate to high risk for earthquakes. While many people in these areas are used to feeling small shakes and tremors in these zones, once in a while a major earthquake strikes and causes major disruptions to communications, transportation, and the availability of clean food and water. Here are a few ways to be better prepared in the event of a large earthquake in your area.
Know How to Evaluate and Secure Your Home
After a major disaster, having a safe place for your family to reside is concern number one. Unfortunately, it’s common after an earthquake for homes to catch fire, be subjected to flooding, or be damaged by preventable situations. Here are a few basic things to check after an earthquake:
- Check your gas, electrical, and water lines. Turn off your gas, electricity, and water until you can inspect them to ensure you don’t have any leaks.
- Inspect the home for structural damage. If the home is structurally sound, clean up broken glass, spilled liquids, and any other debris. With possible power outages, it’s important to have your floors safe to walk across as soon as possible after an earthquake.
- Have a communication plan. Make sure your family members know how to account for one another quickly and get word out to trusted friends or family about their needs.
- Get medical help as needed as soon as possible. Address any injury quickly and seek medical help right away. Faster is better as hospitals will be overwhelmed.
- Take inventory of your food storage. Know how long your food storage will last and make sure that your food storage is accessible and secured.
- Secure your home. Make sure that your windows and doors can still be closed off and locked. Repair home entries and exits to make them safe and reliable.
- Be patient and remain calm until order is restored. Panic is your worst enemy after a major earthquake. As long as you have food, water, a secure shelter, your family will be safe and capable of avoiding harm until aid is offered.
Planning Ahead: Create Your Own Food Storage
After a major earthquake, there’s no predicting how long it will take for aid to arrive to your area. If the damage is spread out in a large area, it could be quite some time before food is available for purchase again. With the loss of electricity, refrigerated and frozen foods will spoil quickly. Having an emergency food storage is essential for proper preparation for natural disasters. There are several ways to create a food storage for your family, which include:
- Purchasing freeze dried food. Freeze dried food lasts 25 years on the shelf and can be used easily in a time of need. Buying a packaged food storage is easy, but selection is limited and it can be a steep financial investment.
- Canning fresh foods. You can create a food storage by canning fruits, vegetables, and some other types of foods. Canning is cheap to do, but canned foods don’t have as long of a shelf life as freeze dried foods and your options are a bit more limited overall on what you can store. It’s a viable option if you’re mindful to rotate your food storage often.
- Freeze dry your own food. For around what it costs to buy a pre-packaged food storage, you can buy an in-home freeze dryer and create a larger, more diverse emergency food storage. Freeze dry leftovers, garden surplus, or buy bulk and discounted foods to freeze dry and store. Over time you’ll build an emergency food supply that’s made up of the foods your family enjoys eating that you can add to continually. You’re also free to use your food storage for quick meals, snacks, or to take camping for when you need an easy-to-pack meal without worry that you’re “eating your investment.” Simply replenish your food storage as you use it.
Your budget, size of family, and lifestyle will dictate how you create your own food storage, but having an emergency food supply is an absolute necessity for family security.