Tips for Earthquake Preparedness Month!

As 2011 showed us, earthquakes can shake the ground just about anywhere in the world.

2012 is no different. Only four months into the year and there have already been a reported 4,218 earthquakes worldwide. Just in the last week, an 8.6 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Indonesia followed by an aftershock of 8.2 hitting Sumatra Island. This morning, earthquakes struck both southern Mexico and Italy.

Unlike other natural disasters, you can’t see an earthquake coming your way; the time to prepare is well before the actual event. So, it’s more than fitting that April is Earthquake Preparedness Month!

This weekend is the perfect time to start prepping:

  • Make a checklist (hey, we’re doing that now!)
  • Assemble a preparedness kit
  • Develop a plan with your family
  • Stay informed

Make a checklist and assemble a preparedness kit:

This should include amble amounts of food, water, and clothing for each member of your family for anywhere from three days to two weeks.

  1. Food: This should require minimal cooking; think canned and high energy foods.
  2. Water: It’s recommended that you store one gallon of water –in plastic containers – per person per day. (Preparing this weekend? Make sure to change out the water in six months.)
  3. First-aid kit
  4. First-aid book
  5. Fire extinguisher
  6. Can opener
  7. Radio
  8. Flashlights
  9. Rxtra batteries
  10. Blankets
  11. Towels
  12. Extra set of car keys
  13. Sanitation and Hygiene supplies: trash bags, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, bleach, and paper towels.

Don’t forget:

  • Prescriptions and other medicines.
  • Your pet’s needs!

Develop a plan with your family:

A communications plan ensures you can contact one another in case everyone is not in the same location when the earthquake occurs. Communicate with your family members about what they should do in case an earthquake hits.

Everyone should know to drop, cover and hold. If you are inside, move as little as possible and stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. For more tips from the American Red Cross, click here.

Stay informed:

Thanks to FEMA, Ready.Gov, eHow.com, and the American Red Cross for some of the above tips!