There’s been a lot of political talk recently about protecting our safety. But for those of us living in earthquake country, perhaps the most important way to make our family safer is to give an earthquake emergency kit. My wife and I, together with my brother and his partner, gave all of our grown children and their significant others Quake Emergency Kits for Chanukah. It’s a way to turn the anxiety we all share into an expression of our love. And I promise you, much of the gear will be used and appreciated long before the next quake hits.
At Temblor, we have been giving a lot of thought into what should go into the kit, having spent time in earthquake aftershock zones in Turkey, Japan, Idaho, and California. I keep one kit in the trunk of my car, one in my wife’s car, and another in our home. How many kits to have and where to keep them depends on your lifestyle, but for those who commute in your own car, the trunk is king.
One of the most important kit components is an old warm jacket, gloves, woolen hat, and walking shoes. Just toss them into a backpack along with the other gear. After a major quake, we will most likely be communicating by cell, and also using our cell phones for news, so the phones will need to be constantly recharged. A solar charger of 7W or more, with a battery of 10,000 mAh, would take care of two cell phones each day with decent sunlight. A headlamp is vastly better than a flashlight, because you are hands-free, it points where you are going, and there could be broken glass around you. Go with at least 80 lumens, and have at least 3 Lithium batteries for it, which last much longer than normal batteries, and have a 20-year shelf life.
Then, you need non-perishable food and water to last several days in sealed 4-year pouches, a good first aid kit with lots of bandages, toiletries, any meds you cannot do without, a cold pack for burns, work gloves, a good face mask for concrete dust, a knife and whistle. I keep the flat, international orange whistle on my key chain; it’s always there if I need to call for help, and I never lose my keys. I keep a headlamp on my bedside table. I end up using the clothes, first aid kit, headlamp, and charger all the time.
We have worked with Suzanne Tateosian, proprietor of Burlingame-based Earth Shakes, who has been making great kits for 20 years. Use promo code ‘temblor’ to get a 5% discount on her offerings. Let it be the fulfillment of a New Years resolution: To prepare rather than deny.
Temblor, Inc. CEO