Five Simple Steps to Make Your Home "Earthquake Ready"
A few years ago, my friend Zach and I decided to (finally) get our families prepared for the next major earthquake. Living in California means that earthquake prep is something every one of us has to do. When we got down to it, we were so amazed by how many people haven’t truly prepared their families, and we were inspired to make it simple and easy. We started an emergency preparedness company, and we’ve helped more than 10,000 people with earthquake preparedness over the past few years.
It’s never fun to think about your family in a disaster situation, but a few simple steps can make your family safer and better prepared in the days after a major earthquake.
Have a few minutes right now? Here are 5 things you can quickly do today that will absolutely keep your family safer in the next major earthquake.
1. Put Shoes By Your Bed
An earthquake shakes literally everything around, causing furniture, shelves and everything unsecured to fall and break. It covers your floors with broken glass, smashed pottery, wine bottle shards, and anything else you can imagine. There is a 33% chance the next major earthquake happens while you are asleep. Imagine, it’s dark, the power is out, you are in bare feet, and you have to evacuate.
If you do have to leave, you may be walking the streets barefoot, and could be on the move for hours or days after the event. A pair of shoes can be a gamechanger in a dangerous situation.
Have 15 seconds? Put a pair of old shoes under your bed right now.
2. Add a Flashlight to Your Nightstand
Expect the power to be out after an earthquake. That fun flashlight function on your phone? It’s not going to last long without power to plug it in. Plus, your phone is a key source of communication and information. By relying on a flashlight for emergency events, you can see what's going on around you and preserve your phone's power.
Need a flashlight? For a limited time we are giving away our Heavy-Duty Mini LED Flashlights for FREE (just pay shipping). Why are we doing this? Because we want to help people take the first step in being prepared! :)
Bonus tip: remember to test the batteries in your flashlight and smoke alarms when you change the clocks during daylight savings time twice a year.
3. Move Your Earthquake Kit
Your earthquake kit should be easy to grab. You don't know where you will be when an earthquake strikes and may be in a panic trying to keep yourself and your family safe. Your kit should be near the main exit of your home, so you can get it quickly. Consider a coat closet that's easily accessible, and remember not to hide your emergency kit under a bunch of junk!
Unfortunately you won't have time to collect valuables during the event, but your family’s safety is most important. In the event of an evacuation, you should head straight to the front door or your primary exit, so make sure your supplies are ready and waiting.
Still don’t have an earthquake kit for your family? We get it - that’s why we exist! We’ve built the smartest, most efficient earthquake bags you can make or buy, built for people like you. Find your custom Earthquake Bag in under 5 minutes HERE!
4. Give Everyone Emergency Information
If you're like most of us, you probably have an emergency contacts list attached to your fridge or on your home office bulletin board. Put a copy in your child's backpack, the glove box of your car, your wallet or purse, and in your earthquake kit. This way you'll always have the information handy even if you have to leave in a rush. If your little ones are separated from you, it helps if their rescuers know who they are, who they belong, and how to get you back together.
Include an out-of-town emergency contact. Let them know your status as soon as possible. Local phone lines may be jammed after an earthquake so it will be easier to reach someone outside of the disaster area.
5. Choose an Emergency Meeting Place
If an earthquake strikes during the day, you’ll likely be separated from your loved ones. You may be at work while children are at school. Discuss with your family where you plan to reunite in the event of a disaster. Your cell phones might not work during a disaster, so it's important to have a plan beforehand.
You may not want to think about an earthquake, but that doesn’t make the probability any different. We know that another major earthquake will strike here, so let’s be grown ups and take a few simple precautions for our families. It doesn’t have to take long, and it can make a huge difference in protecting you from injury and keeping you in contact with loved ones.You’ll feel better knowing that you’ve done what you can to make your family safer. Need more earthquake prep info, or want someone to build out your family’s kit for you? Check out earthquakebag.me for earthquake prep tips and tricks, info on supplies and how to use them intelligently, and what to look for when preparing for your family.
- Skyler Hallgren