Ready for the Big One?

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

Are you ready for the Big One – or any natural disaster?

As we all know, we are far overdue for a potentially destructive earthquake. Where, when or how it will hit us is anyone’s guess, but we all know it is coming. There is no avoiding this (literally) earthshaking event, but we can prepare our own response to it.

Here is the minimum of what you should have in a single-person, three-day kit. Add more for every person you might have at hand. Add more than that if you want it to last longer. This kit will serve you well no matter what comes your way.

Don’t forget about infants (diapers and dried food) and pets (food). Make it portable if you can, such as in a backpack, and keep it in your car. You’ll know where to find it and it’s unlikely that it with be entirely crunched or buried.

* Water (a gallon per day, if you can. If you can’t, you can buy bottles or a water filter system, or water purification tablets)

* Food (If canned, make sure to have a can opener). You can also get freeze-dried food or Meals Ready to Eat (MREs). You can get them at a military or camping supply store

* Hand-cranked AM/FM radio. Better yet, a NOAA weather radio. You’ll need this for information. Don’t count on fully functional cell phone service.

* Flashlight and extra batteries

* A multi-purpose tool or Swiss Army Knife.

* First aid kit (and get training on how to use it)

* Medications and eyewear

* Whistle to signal for help

* Lighter or waterproof matches

* Cash ( electricity is likely to be down. ATMs won’t  be reliable).

* Dust mask to help filter contaminated or dirty air.

* Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation

* Emergency sleeping bag — they’re $5 and can fold up tight enough to fit in your pocket. They aren’t comfortable, but they’ll help keep you warm.

* Tarp/plastic sheeting and duct tape to make a shelter or a non-contaminant room.

* Local map

* Bungee cords, various fasteners and rope – these are useful for all kinds of situations.