Thursday, March 24, 2011

Call me crazy

This is all the stuff I recently bought, following the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan. And it's really just the tip of the iceberg as far as stuff I'm gonna need ....

... When the Big One hits. 

My husband is getting mighty tired of me mentioning the Big One, but mark my words! It's coming, and when it does, I'll be sitting on my porch with a can of cream of potato soup and a shotgun in my lap.

When an earthquake hits, I don't wait for it to get bigger. When I realize it's an earthquake, I dive under the nearest desk/table. And people laugh and laugh. Well. Who will be laughing when your head is squished and I'm sitting on my porch with my soup? Hmm?

There was an image that stuck with me from Earthquakes & Volcanoes 101 (Yes, I took a college course titled Earthquakes & Volcanoes 101. This is earthquake territory, guys! I learned a lot). The image was of a multi-story building that had been destroyed in an earthquake. One whole side of the building had sheared off and the stories had collapsed upon each other, and there, on the fourth floor or so, standing strong and wonderful, was a table. The message was clear: Get under the strongest table you have and you might be OK.

Anyway! Let's review my earthquake preparedness kit.

 First, I already had a couple of Thomas Guides and this Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook. When I bought the handbook ages ago, I did it for fun, but in truth, you just never know when you might need to know how to:

- break into a car.
- deal with a downed power line.
- perform a tracheotomy.
- deliver a baby.
- survive an earthquake (guess what the book says to do?? Get under a table!!)

I grabbed whatever soup was on sale at Target, plus some extra batteries, crackers, oatmeal, and a bunch of water. This isn't nearly enough water to last us if the Big One comes -- you're supposed to have a gallon per person, per day, for two weeks. But hell if I know where I'd keep 28 gallons of water.

My awesome new first aid kit. I'll be giving all the neighbors tracheotomies.

Face masks, ponchos, water proof matches and emergency blankets.

Nifty radio that you can hand-crank but which is also solar powered, and which you can also use to charge your cell phone!

I also got two flashlights and will be throwing a pair of scissors, a multipurpose tool, pillows, and two sleeping bags in there. 

Stuff I still need for my kit includes:

- Cat food.
- Toiletries.
- Copies of personal documents: proof of address, deed to house, birth certificates, insurance policies.
- Family & emergency contact info. (phone & addresses of work and homes)
- Candles
- Plywood, nails, duct tape, work gloves. Gonna need to board up the windows when the Big One comes.
- Bleach.
- Extra clothes/shoes.
- Plastic forks/spoons/dishes.

When all's said and done, I want all this stuff in one or two big bags, so I can grab it quick-like when the Big One comes.

And in all seriousness, guys, regardless of where you live, you should have something like this on hand. There are tons of natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes) and unnatural disasters (terrorism, nuclear fallout) that could necessitate an emergency preparedness kit, and if you have to evacuate for any reason, it's good to have it all ready to go so you don't even have to think about it.


  1. also- get yourself some nail polish and a chinese jump rope. otherwise, you're gonnna be bored to pieces.

    i wasn't a girl scout for nothing, you know.

  2. You're totally right, actually. Everyone suggests you put in some entertainment items as well.

  3. Don't forget firearms, a motorcycle, and gas in that list.

  4. Yeah a gun is essential. Because if it's really going to be that bad, you'll need a gun. Also, I thought of you today when I got a thing from Costco that showed a gigantic bucket of food (275 servings) with a 20 year shelf life. I'm tempted!|3605&N=4001055&Mo=1116&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=3605&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=

  5. Katie I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic about the gun! But we are getting one. Or two. :-) That bucket is AWESOME! hahahaah. I think $100 is a steal. I'd get it.

  6. Nope totally serious. And I am so anti guns. But really, if it's that bad, you need a gun, not money. Forget money! Ha! Didn't we have this conversation?

  7. Ok, first, I took that class too!! It was like, take something uber-complicated like a second semester of chemistry or take the jock science class just to get those extra science credits I thought were bs anyway. Second, you are so right. Living in CA forever, we kind of get used to the quakes, but I also fear the "big one" which I assume is imminent. Off to Target! Did you get the radio and first aid kit there?

  8. I need to do that too. I have emergency kits in my car that are partial earthquake survival kits (duct tape, rope, waterproof matches, ponchos, etc.), but I'm also tempted by that bucket thing from Costco.

    And also ... 28 freaking gallons of water? NOBODY has the room to store all that!

  9. Melissa - was your professor a 40-something hippie with long hair? Mine was... The radio and first aid kit are off amazon:

    Shell - I knew you'd be at least a little prepared. ;-) And yeah, the water thing ... I can see how you'd need that much water, I just don't know where the hell you'd put it.

  10. Also, in case anyone is following this thread, here's something that just occurred to me today - add coffee to your kit. You'll need it!