Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Earthquake Kit

Let's take a minute to talk about earthquakes.  It's been strange to adjust to living in a place where earthquakes are an inevitability.  But Japan does an amazing job preparing for and dealing with them.  Building are built on rolling foundations with specially reinforced frames to withstand earthquakes, every neighborhood has a designated evacuation zone, and everyone is advised to keep an earthquake kit.  In the Tohoku earthquake in 2011, 92.5% of people died from drowning after the tsunami, which is of course terrible, but it illustrates how well prepared Japan is for earthquakes.  And luckily Tokyo is in a protected bay that greatly reduced the chance of a tsunami.

Because of the safety of the buildings, earthquake kits are more for the chance that we might spend a considerable time without power after a major earthquake.  The government puts of recommendations of what to include, and I thought I might share ours.

Our Earthquake Kit
 These are the non-perishable foods I chose.  Mainly because they had the latest expiration date.  You don't want to have to constantly be replacing this stuff.

 LED flashlights, with lots of extra batteries.

For health purposes, alcohol wipes, bandaids, and face masks.  There could be lots of debris in the air.

Since the electricity could be out, candles, matches, and heat packs in case it's cold.

This last thing was John's idea.  Portable battery chargers for cell phone are really popular, so we got one with lots of extra batteries.  Cell towers and internet could still be out, but it seems better to have the possibility of being able to contact people rather than just having a dead phone.  And then some trash bags, just because it's a recommended item.

The final thing, which is not part of the kit exactly, but is important to have, is a good supply of water.  In an emergency, stores could be closed (or bought out quickly).  And even worse is the idea of having to carry a lot upstairs if the elevator isn't working (we live on the 18th floor).  I recommend ordering it on Amazon so you never have to carry it (even in a working elevator).

12 2-Liter Bottles

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