April is Earthquake Preparedness Month

As we witnessed with the disastrous 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit China’s Sichuan Province last weekend, killing over 189 and injury many more, earthquakes can be both incredibly dangerous and a total surprise.

As the 2011 East Coast earthquake demonstrated, it is impossible to predict when or where an earthquake will occur, which means it’s vitally important to be prepared well ahead of time.

Here at The Salvation Army, our Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) crews are big on disaster preparedness. Are you and your family prepared for an earthquake?

In light of April being Earthquake Preparedness Month, here are a few tips courtesy of Ready. gov.

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. Extra 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!