One thing to think about when an earthquake hits is who are going to be the first responders to help you and your neighborhood? Is it going to be the Police, the Fire Department or the Red Cross?
I would say probably not. The Police and Fire Departments will be busy, very, very busy. In fact it could be days or weeks before they get there. The Red Cross, I am sure that they will mobilize quickly, but it still could be days before they can get there. FEMA, they will probably arrive about the same time as the Red Cross.
The point I am making is that the first people to help you and your neighbors will be you and your neighbors. It is important to understand that. Here in Cedar City there are approximately 30,000 people, a few more now that Southern Utah University is in session.
There are less than 100 Police Officers total. We have a largely volunteer Fire Department, and every one of these people will have just gone through the same thing that you did. They have people that they care about and homes that are also damaged.
It would benefit everyone around you if you knew at least basic first aid, and CPR. The first few hours and days are critical in getting trapped people out of the wreckage for their survival. Plan on being one of the rescue workers.
Have at least 72 hours worth of food and water. The water supply could be contaminated, you may not have electricity. That kit should have changes of clothing and candles or lots of flashlight batteries (rotate these so that they will work).
The first aid class that you may take should have a list of items that you should have in a first aid kit. This is much more comprehensive than the little first aid kits that you buy at Walmart. There are many sources and opinions to help you assemble such a kit.
Make sure that you have blankets or sleeping bags as well. There is nothing saying that earthquakes only occur during warm weather. It is also a good idea to have candles and matches on hand.
Another thing to consider is what medications do the members of my family need? It may be a good idea to make sure there is at least a week’s worth of those medications available.
If you have pets, you may want to make sure that you keep enough food and water on hand for them as well. They too will need both to survive.
You should also know where the gas, water and electrical shut offs are to your home. You don’t want a leaking gas line when you light that candle! Another good thing to know is what earthquake plans your community has in place, as well as any of your children’s schools plans.
The main point of this post is to understand that while people do a great job in helping victims of disasters, it often takes several days to get them in place and helping. You need to be responsible to make sure that you get through the time until these services get there. You may be the difference in whether or not you and your neighbors and family survive until that help arrives.
I am in my next post going to go through a list of the things to consider putting in your survival kits.