That strong earthquake that rocked my out of bed early yesterday morning (and also injured more than 100 people and apparently caused a lot of damage up in Napa County closer to the epicenter) got me to thinking about being prepared. The magnitude 6.0 shaker struck around 3:20am, waking me out of a sound sleep. It brought back a lot of memories of the last big quake to strike this area, twenty five years ago. That one did some major damage!
The experts are always telling us that a big one is coming and that we need to be prepared. Other parts of the country and of the world, might not have to worry much about earthquakes, but there are tornadoes or hurricanes or winter blizzards that might cause widespread damage and also prevent you from getting food and other essentials. Are you ready? What if there were some kind of criminal or terrorist act that again kept you from those things that are necessary like food, water, flashlights or candles? Have you prepared yourself and your family?
It is still too early to know for certain, but it looks like things should be okay for most people following this morning's quake. It isn't always that way though. What if there had been widespread power outages throughout the Bay Area? The earthquake hit at night when it was dark. Did people have any way of seeing? Did they have fresh batteries and flashlights?
Having a kit in an accessible place is something we all should do. Other things that should be included are bottled water, canned food items (especially those that don't require any cooking), emergency mylar blankets, and ponchos, glow light sticks, waterproof matches, survival whistles, first aid kit, radio, and candles. Also, it may be helpful to have more than one such kit - one at home and another in your car or in your workplace. In addition to this kit, do you have a plan? Let close friends and family know what you will do in an emergency so that they can easily check if you are okay.
The earthquake yesterday woke me up in more than one way!