Emergency preparedness for your home

What do the holidays and winter storms have in common? They both tend to make us appreciate our homes even more than we do the rest of the year.  So what can you do to make sure your home remains a safe haven in a region that is prone to earthquakes?

We all know that the threat of a major earthquake happening here is very real — it’s a question of when, not if. Experts warn that we need to be prepared to fend for ourselves for at least three days (seven is a more realistic number) before public emergency services may be available to assist us.

If the thought of gathering food, water and supplies seems overwhelming, try taking a “baby steps” approach to the task. Here’s the first one.

Clear out one kitchen cabinet shelf and dedicate it to the storage of ready-to-eat foods. You don’t need to buy anything special, just consolidate all the canned and non-perishable foods you already have, onto this one shelf. This will increase your awareness of what you have on hand and remind you to replenish it as you use it. Keep a manual can opener on the shelf too.

Chances are that even after an earthquake you will be able to re-enter your home, at least briefly, to retrieve items you need. Cupboards and closets are areas that are more likely to maintain their structural integrity so they are good places to store emergency supplies.

If you want more information on this topic sooner rather than later:  

http://Seattle.gov/emergency-management

http://Ready.gov/be-informed

http://FEMA.gov/plan-prepare-mitigate

http://makeitthrough.org

posted 1/15/15 by Alice Kuder