A to Z Challenge: Day Seventeen – “Q”

‘Q’ is for ‘Quake/Emergency Kit.’

Richard and I have now arrived back home from Boston. My ‘adventure’ today (after unpacking our bags and doing the laundry) is to organize our emergency supplies and ‘grab and go kits.’

Before leaving for our recent trip, Richard and I attended a lecture on ‘Vancouver Island Earthquakes Past and Future’ by Dr. Stephen Earle. Here’s a summary of the notes that I took.

Key Considerations:

  • B.C. is deemed to be a high-risk earthquake zone.
  • Seismologists predict the movements of the Juan de Fuca and North American plates will one day result in a major earthquake on the West Coast, including Vancouver Island. We do not currently have enough information to predict how or when this might happen.

Recommended Earthquake Preparedness

  • Know Your Zone (BC’s coastal communities are divided into five tsunami notification zones).
  • Be aware of the risks.
  • Map out where to go.
  • Make a plan. (Be prepared to be on your own for a minimum of 72 hours.)
  • Prepare your home.
  • Stay Calm.
  • Store emergency supplies and ‘grab bag.’ (There are many sample checklists available online to build your own kit. Here is the one that I used).

In conjunction with attending this lecture, I ordered a few emergency items from EarthQuakeBiz. They are a BC company that sells both pre-made emergency kits and individual emergency preparedness items. (I am not sponsored by them in any way). I was pleased with their range of options, prices, and quick delivery.

.There are numerous places that sell pre-made kits and deliver nationally/internationally. Or, as mentioned above, you could easily make your own or do a combination of the two.

survival
Emergency Kit items that I will now build around. Yes, I will add more food and water!

Here are some additional resources that I found to be helpful.

Earthquake/Tsunami/Natural Disaster Information for Canadians/BC Residents include:

Earthquakes Canada
Earthquakes BC
BC Earthquake and Tsunami Guide
The Great British Columbia Shake Out

International Earthquake/Tsunami/Natural Disaster Information Include:

Red Cross
National Earthquake Information Center (US)
Latest Earthquakes Worldwide

Are you aware of the earthquake/natural disaster risks in your area? Do you have a plan and an emergency kit in place? Do you have recommendations to add?

42 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day Seventeen – “Q””

    1. Hi, Beth – A Nuclear Power Plant was built on a fault line in CT? That is a horrible combination!! I am glad that the plant was decommissioned. I’ve been behind on my blog reading (due to our Boston trip). I am off to visit your site now. Looking forward to it!

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    1. Thanks, Jill – I’m signed up for one more workshop that focuses on what to do in the first 24 hours after a significant environmental disaster. I love that retirement allows me time to explore things that I previously ignored!

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    1. Hi, Leanne – Our immediate area is at higher risk of earthquakes than tsunamis. The major tsunami warning areas are a couple of hours drive away from us . As you say, it just makes sense to be prepared (especially as you cannot drive on our local highways without reading a reminder to get your ‘kit’ together)!

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  1. We made these kits when we were in Tashkent and experienced many small earthquakes there, but none so severe as the one in the 60’s when most of Tashkent was destroyed. Here’s hoping you never have to use the kit!

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  2. Now I think you knew all along what you were going to write for Q….and it was a very good article at that! Yes it is good to be prepared for such an event….no I have not done one! I know the Okanagan is on one of the fault lines but just have not gotten that organized. I probably should put one together to put in the RV as we winter in CA. And yes we have felt a pretty good tremor in the last four years of being there. I decided it as the Jolly Green Giant standing outside giving the RV a good shake. Got me thinking, thanks Donna😍

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    1. Thanks, Georgia – I attended the Earthquake workshop right before we left for Boston. Other than the items that I ordered online, I did not have time to put the kit together before we flew out. I marked today on my calendar to finish putting the kit together. Otherwise, I knew that it would continue to be lost in my “do it later” pile. I have been avoiding this for three years! My understanding now is that it is quite easy to do. I’ll keep you posted on that!

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  3. No need for earthquake kits where I live, Donna, but our township office has been encouraging emergency kits for all kinds of other purposes. They’ve also included a list of items to be put in an emergency kit for dogs, which I hadn’t thought of and appreciate!

    Let’s hope that this is a Murphy’s (or somebody’s) Law kind of situation. Have your kit ready to go and you won’t need it.

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  4. Hi, Karen – I agree having an emergency kit prepared could come in handy for all kinds of reasons. Planning for the needs of pets in emergency is also a great idea. My goal is to finish putting together our basic kit today. Hopefully we never need it!

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  5. Like you said, we hope we never need it… I live in the Midwest USA. The New Madrid fault in Missouri isn’t too far away and we’ve always been cautioned to “be aware and prepared”. I have the things that would be necessary for a kit, but not put together in one place for easy access. Good reminder!

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    1. Hi, Kimberly – Thank you for stopping by. I agree that most of us already have many of the items suggested for ’emergency kits’. Its putting them together and storing them in a way that they would be easy to ‘grab and go’ if needed. I look forward to visiting your site now.

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  6. Donna, A good reminder and one I need to consider (even in Ohio). A good friend of mine lives near Boise Idaho and the last 2 years, she’s had her Grab & Go bags/boxes pretty much packed in case of fire evacuation. Another friend’s mom and many friends live in Santa Rosa, where he grew up. Many lost everything last year as they had little to no time to gather things. I recall Janis wrote about the things you need to make sure you grab (important stuff). This takes it to the the next level – things you need to survive! Scary thoughts.

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    1. Hi, Pat – Thanks for your comments. I will need to go back and reread Janis’ post — she always has very wise advice.
      I was glad that I attended the workshop, and our leader moved us away from fear into confidence (i.e. there are many proactive things that we can do to protect ourselves and our families). I am glad I wrote today in my calendar to finish my kit….or I may have procrastinated for another three years!

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  7. We’re not on any earthquake lines here in South Africa but occasionally up on the highveld where I live there are minor quakes from time to time, due to mining – and there is damage. So no kits necessary but always better to be prepared with an emergency kit just in case. I guess this could be applied to and sort of major disaster, likes fires or flooding? Welcome back Donna!

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    1. Hi, Susan – Thank you for the warm welcome back. It feels good to be home. As you suggest, these ’emergency’ kits could be used for anything. As they can be made quite easily with items that you usually have around the home, they would be worth their weight in gold if ever needed.

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  8. A very helpful post, and certainly a timely one for me also. The start of hurricane season is just around the corner here, and I need to really get going on our own kit. Thanks for the reminder… and let’s hope neither of us need to use them.

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    1. Hi, Marty – If I had written this post on Day 4, I would have called it a “Disaster Kit’, Day 5 ‘Emergency Kit’ and Day 19 ‘Survival Kit’. So, yes definitely, this type of kit is wise to have handy for any unexpected emergency (earthquake, flood, fire, hurricane….). Funny, how they are easy to procrastinate on. Hopefully we never need to use them. Thanks for reading!

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  9. Welcome home, Donna! Very wise preparation, especially for your location, and hope you’ll never have to use it. Also note refresh dates in your calendar for items that have an expiry date. I experienced an earthquake before. I was far from the centre but it was strong enough for me to see concrete buildings swayed like waves, quite surreal. When I prepared for my trip to Chile, knowing that country is prone to earth quakes, I actually read up on what to do in case one happens. I saw a few buildings that were damaged by their past big earthquake. They are abandoned as they are no longer safe for use but too expensive to repair or reconstruct..

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    1. Hi, Natalie – Keeping track of expiry dates for food/drink/medicine/etc. in your kit is a very important point. Thank you for raising this The Earth Quake Kit Company that I ordered a few items from (including food and water), keep track of expiry dates for you and email you when it is time to refresh. Glad that you did some extra reading on this topic prior to your Chile trip.

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    1. Hi, Sue – There have been some significant earthquakes on our island. Most notably in 1918 (magnitude 7.2) and 1946. In 2001 there was a large earthquake in Nisqually, Washington that also caused damage on Vancouver Island. The workshop that I attended was excellent at reducing fears and increasing knowledge. It was also a fantastic incentive to quit procrastinating and prepare our emergency kits.

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  10. Now that’s a good Q-topic! And, welcome home, by the way. I hope the weather is better in BC than in Boston. You’ll have to let us know how the grandkids like their gifts.

    On the boat we used to have a grab bag as well, in case the boat would sink, flip or get holed. In the end, I actually prepared two waterproof bags, since one was full of water and granola bags. The other one had things from a fishing kit, to a mirror, note pad and pen, plastic cups, tarp, thin blanket, sun hats to many more small items that could help us if stranded at sea. Plus, we’d grab the handheld VHF and Epirb as well.

    We never had to prepare for an earthquake. But, at one house sit, we received instructions in case of forest fires.

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – For once, I was finally appreciative of Vancouver Island’s spring weather (I usually get impatient for it to be summer)!
      That’s a good idea about preparing two separate grab bags.
      You are insightful to mention the grandchildren. We look forward to seeing them soon!

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  11. This is very useful and something I want to do too. Delhi is also in an Earthquake zone and I think it’s important to have a grab bag at least and to know where to go.

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  12. Hi Donna
    Great use of the letter “Q”
    I’m from California and have weathered many fairly good sized earthquakes. I remember getting under our desks and covering the backs of our heads in school during preparedness drills. All this being said, I do not have an earthquake emergency kit. I guess it would be prudent of me to make one.
    Thanks
    Laura

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    1. Hi, Laura – I remember those drills too. I’ve delayed preparing a kit myself. Now that I’ve finally gotten a round to it – I couldn’t believe how easy it was to do. I highly recommend it (says the Girl Scout 🙂 ).

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  13. I believe I live in a seismic zone but never thought to prepare a grab bag in case of…. What a wonderfully informative post; shall check up on my city and its seismic conditions.

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    1. Hi, Joanne – The need to be prepared for an earthquake (or any natural disaster) when traveling, would definitely add a whole new layer of stress. I guess, like anything, preparation can help redirect fear into knowledge. Thank you for sharing this article. It is very thought-provoking.

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