3 Simple Tips to Prepare for an Earthquake in Southern California
A minor earthquake can be a frightening experience, even for those used to them here in California. It is also very common to have feelings of anxiety afterward and worry about what will occur when “The Big One” happens. Obviously, it is very hard to plan for every eventuality and Mother Nature follows her own agenda. As hopeless as it may seem, there are things that you can do that will help you to deal with the situation. By following these three simple tips, you can regain some nominal control over your life and be better prepared in the future.
Prepare an Easily Portable Emergency Kit
In survivalist circles, this would be known as a “bug out bag,” or a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours when evacuating from a disaster. It needs to be small enough that it can be grabbed and carried anywhere to sustain you for a few days. The bag should ideally be a rucksack as in an emergency you will need to use your hands. If you have a family, it’s a good idea for each family member to have their own emergency pack ready to go in an earthquake. The bag should include items, such as a lighter, bottled water, non-perishable food, a basic first aid kit, a battery powered radio, a flashlight and some spare batteries. These are the basics, but you can be more elaborate if you wish and add a knife or Swiss Army Knife, a metal drinking mug to boil water in and a more comprehensive first aid kit. There is no such thing as being over prepared, any easily portable items that can provide a little comfort, such as thermal blankets, sleeping bags or candy can be added. An adult human can survive for over 30 days without food in a pinch, but dehydration will kill most people within a week. An earthquake can disrupt your water supply, so always plan to have more water than you need. An adult requires half a gallon of water per day, but in hot conditions or if exerting yourself you may need more.
Install Earthquake Valves
When an earthquake occurs, it can disrupt all kinds of utilities in your home. One of the most dangerous is your gas line, which can be ruptured, and cause a gas leak. The last thing you need in this scenario is a house fire or explosion. This is quite an easy tip, just call a reputable local plumber
and explain your requirements. They will install earthquake valves into your gas line; that will shut off the gas when the tremors begin. This will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your family’s earthquake evacuation plan.
Have an Evacuation Plan
It may not be necessary to evacuate your house, but if there is a lot of damage and fires have started it is a good idea to have an evacuation plan. Find, a place that is safe for you and your family and that is easy to access on foot. The roads may be choked with people trying to leave the area, so traveling on foot is more reliable. Avoid commercial areas as there may be looting taking place and larger fires to navigate around. Your final destination could be a friend’s house or a place in nature, but it should have some shelter from the elements. Mobile phone services and Internet connections may be disrupted, so carry a battery powered radio to keep up to date with the local news.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.