See below for a graphic guide to your basic San Francisco earthquake kit. See the full-page poster version that appeared in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the newspaper.
It’s never too late to prepare for the next big earthquake. The California Emergency Management Agency advises that the first 72 hours after a disaster are critical. Electricity, gas and water may be unavailable and first responders will be busy focusing emergency services on the most serious crises.
Having an earthquake kit is key to toughing it out on your own. Your kit should be easily accessible and have enough supplies for you, your family and pets to survive for at least three days.
There is no one-size-fits-all kit. Advice on kits varies by emergency relief agency. The California Emergency Management Agency breaks down kits into: essentials, sanitation, safety and comfort, cooking and tools and supplies. See the graphic checklist below.
Once you have the essentials covered, add personal hygiene and sanitation items to the kit — large trash bags and cans, toilet paper and household liquid chlorine laundry bleach. The American Red Cross advises using 16 drops of bleach per gallon to sterilize any water that’s not bottled.
If you can’t stay in your home, make sure to know where shelters are in your area. The American Red Cross distributes an iPhone app called Shelter View, for finding out when and where shelters have been opened in your area during disasters.
This story appeared in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.