Preparing for emergencies

After the recent earthquakes, many people found themselves unprepared. El Lenador talked to experts on the matter to learn how people can prepare themselves for an emergency.

Chris Emmons, assistant chief of the Arcata fire department, favors the aspect of his job that gets to handle disaster planning and getting out public information. 

Emmons encourages everyone to have conversions with their families, neighbors and friends and pack an emergency kit with the basic necessities to get through a few days to a week. 

“Know how to shut the gas off, know how to shut the electricity off if need be,” Emmons said. “Having shoes next to your bed, knowing a couple of different ways out of your house in case the house gets knocked off of its foundation, having things secured to the walls or strapped down so they don’t fall off.”

Kari Stockdale, a Cal Poly Humboldt alumni and research assistant in the geology department, explained that what you should put in your emergency kit should be the things you need to get through the first few hours of your day.

“A kit with a few things in them is better than no kit at all,” Stockdale said. 

Stockdale wants people to know that, “It’s okay to be afraid.” She wants the community to know how to be prepared to help alleviate that fear. 

“Panic and fear is okay but the more education that we have, about these items and the more we spread awareness, the less fear will come and the more prepared will jump into play and it will be automatic,” Stockdale said. 

Graphic by Ione Dellos

List of necessities to consider:

  • Having close to a full tank of gas 
  • At least one gallon of water per person per day – for drinking and sanitation
  • At least 72 hours worth of non-perishable food
  • Can opener
  • Backup batteries
  • Flashlights 
  • Phone charger (any devices)
  • Duct tape
  • Matches
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Garbage bags
  • Feminine products
  • Prescription medication for at least 10 days 
  • Important family documents
    • Insurance policies 
    • Bank records
    • Identification cards/social security cards
  • Things to keep kids calm; books, games, puzzles
  • For babies: Instant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes
  • Pets and their needs
  • Clothes for a few days 
  • Blankets
  • Extra Socks
  • Extra Covid masks
  • Soap, sanitizer, wipes
  • Cash or checks
  • Local maps (physical maps)
    • Know how to read a physical map in case you lose signal 
    • Know where bridges are and other ways to get out of town in case they collapse
    • Know where the highest points elevation are near you in case of a tsunami

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