After the August 2011 earthquake shook up the East Coast, many people were left wondering what would have happened if there had been serious damage. It turns out that earthquakes aren't just confined to the West Coast. And even those who live in the more common earthquake areas aren't necessarily prepared. Regardless of where you live, you should be ready for an earthquake.
Nobody is suggesting you panic and go crazy, but it's never a bad idea to have a plan and some supplies. Use these lists and tips to ensure that you're in the best position possible in the event of a serious earthquake.
Tom T. Moore, speaker, frequent radio guest and author of The Gentle Way books, compiled an earthquake packing list. He includes the 10 items you must have now and another 10 you should work on gathering so you're prepared for an earthquake.
Items you need to gather immediately:
Items you need to add to your earthquake emergency kit:
Moore lists 10 more items that are nearly as important as the first 10. Among them is cash. After all, how would you get money out of an ATM if the power's out? Also, don't forget the can opener, wrench (to turn off your gas) and a radio. See his complete list for all the necessities.
In the unfortunate event you find yourself in an earthquake, how you react is very important. "News footage of the [Washington] D.C. earthquake tells us that many people reacted incorrectly, including security personnel," says Paul Purcell, author of Disaster Prep 101 and a terrorism and natural-disaster preparedness specialist. "There are key things you should do before, during and after an earthquake above and beyond 'stop, drop and hold.' "
What are those things? Purcell notes two important items:
What if you experienced an earthquake and your electronics were destroyed? Broken water pipes can wreak havoc on electronic items like your computers, and devices can be crushed. Assuming everyone in your family is OK, your next priority becomes putting your lives back together. In the old days (you know -- the '90s and early 2000s), the loss of your computer, memory cards from your camera and printed photos was devastating. Those items were irreplaceable.
However, it's 2011 now, and that means you can preserve your digital lives in advance of an earthquake. Consider cloud services such as SugarSync, a leading provider of "personal cloud" services that enable users to access, back up and share all of their data -- anytime, anywhere, and from any device.
Losing personal possession and potentially your home could be devastating, but you can at least have your priceless photos, videos and irreplaceable documents backed up.
As with health and life insurance, you hope you'll never need the supplies you gather and plans you make for an earthquake. However, without them, you could find yourself in a bad position if the worst happened. Heed the expert advice and prepare yourself for an earthquake.
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