Thursday, December 31, 2015

8 Extras For Your Emergency Kit ~ #Earthquake2015

If you live in the Lower Mainland, or on Vancouver Island, or in Washington State, you probably felt the earthquake we had late Wednesday night. Oli & I were sitting on the couch, just finished watching a video when I felt a bit of a vibration. I thought Oliver was jiggling his leg or something, Just as I started to wonder if it was an earthquake, the house started shaking side to side for a few seconds. I wonder this on a regular basis, to be honest, since we live in what used to be a bog, so our house shakes around when large speeding trucks hit the bumps in the road outside, or there's pile driving or demolition for construction of new homes.

I tweeted nearly immediately--though there really wasn't a question in my mind:

Chatting with other people helped me calm the jitters a little bit & I got to sleep a couple of hours later.

Before I went to bed, however, I started thinking about aftershocks & how we have only a one-person earthquake kit, not enough for our family. I looked around online a bit for one & resolved to see if Costco had them in stock in the store the next day. Just before we went to bed, I decided to fill a few containers with water, to give me a little peace of mind if there were to be more severe aftershocks during the night.

Morning arrived & I headed to Three Vets to grab a few things: a spare emergency blanket, some water packets & an MRE block. Then I headed to Costco to see if they had the two-person kits in store, but alas: nada. When I got home, I went back to the website & surprise, surprise, the one I'd been looking at was sold out. I looked at a few other websites, but the companies specializing in emergency supplies had notices up saying that delivery would be delayed to 4-6 weeks as they were overwhelmed with orders. Coscto seemed to have the best prices for what was included, not to mention free shipping. Done.

The basic emergency kits are a good start, but there are a few things I will add to ours when it arrives. Here's my list of add-ons to a regular kit:

  1. Information: names & phone numbers for family, friends, doctors; copies of ID; insurance policy number; banking numbers.
  2. Extra keys to house, bike locks, vehicles if you have them, safe deposit box, etc.
  3. Medications: I'll pack an asthma inhaler & probably some Tylenol for arthritis. It's also useful to add the names & doses of required medications to the info list just in case.
  4. A 5-gallon bucket with a lid & garbage bags: this can be used for a toilet & depending on the size of it, also hold the whole kit until needed.
  5. Diapers! Can't forget these until Bronte is toilet trained...
  6. Our old Beco carrier: if we have to leave our house--which I think likely, given how old it is & the fact that we live on a bog--it'll be a lot easier to walk anywhere if we wear Bronte. 
  7. Tiny toys & books: again, if we're headed somewhere else, having a little distraction will help the kids.
  8. Spare bicycle tubes, patch kits, & tools: if we have to travel far after a disaster like an earthquake, our bikes will be indispensible. No gas or electricity needed & they can get around downed trees or power lines, many places cars can't go. But the bikes have to be functional, so the right tools & supplies are essential.

That's my top eight add-ons for our emergency kit. It's such a tough thing to pack for, as I've never been through a serious earthquake or other disaster. There are so many different variables that you can't plan for everything. But hey, if this is one of your New Year's resolutions, maybe this list will help you get your kit together.

Do you have an emergency kit ready to go? Have you added any special items to yours?

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1 comment:

  1. We have had an emergency kit in the basement for about 3 or 4 years. I take out all of the food every summer and we eat through it, replacing the food with fresh food. I have 4 days worth of canned food for 5 of us. And we keep extra crackers/bread etc in the house too-but the shelf life is not long enough to keep it in the emergency kit. We have a flat of bottled water (cheapest alternative) that we cycle out, and also a whole layer of milk jugs of frozen water in the base of the freezer that we can thaw and use. I have looked into purifying stream water (we have a river behind our house), and got the supplies for that as well. We have 2 BBQs and a gas powered camping stove to cook on. Crank powered radios and flashlights etc.
    I didn't think of a toilet replacement though. I could do with a first aid kit, some garbage bags, duct tape, fire extinguisher. THere's a great list here: We have all of these things, but most live in the garage, and the food lives in the house.


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