10 Essential Items for Your Emergency Kit - PIH Health

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Published on May 15, 2019

10 Essential Items for Your Emergency Kit

graphic of disaster plangraphic of disaster planCalifornia is home to the San Andreas Fault, a dominant earthquake zone. So we must be prepared.

To keep you and your family as safe as possible, we recommend putting together an emergency kit filled with these top 10 essential items.

Ten Items You Should Have In Your Emergency Earthquake Kit

  1. Water. You will need one gallon of water per each person and per pet for each day, for a minimum of four days.
  2. Food.  Pack non-perishable foods. Do the same for each pet.
  3. Cash and Important Documents. Pack all insurance papers, medical records/cards, birth certificates, and cash in low currencies to help you in an exchange, or if you need to barter. Pack all paper goods in a zip lock sealable bag to avoid getting wet.
  4. Clothes. Pack clothes that can be multiuse, such as a light rain jacket, long and short sleeve shirts, undergarments and sturdy shoes.
  5. Flashlight. Make sure each person in your household has a flashlight and extra batteries.
  6. First-Aid Kit. Have a first-aid kit ready for humans and one for pets.
  7. Medicine. Prescription and over-the-counter medications that you may need if on lifetime prescription or your pets are. Include such items as syringes. You may also want to purchase and store other over-the-counter medicine such as headache and allergy relief medicine.
  8. Radio. A battery operated radio and extra batteries.
  9. Toiletries. Soap, diapers, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, toothbrush, trash bags, toilet paper and paper towels.
  10. Tools. Fire extinguisher, manual can opener, adjustable wrench, sturdy gloves and a whistle.

Additional Earthquake Preparedness Tips 

Keep your car gas tank above half.  If there is a widespread power outage, the gasoline pumps will not function. If they do function, the lines might be extremely long, and supply could be low. Having a half full tank will allow you and your family to get away from danger quicker.

Have an out-of-state contact.  In a large earthquake, local phone circuits can be overloaded, making it impossible to complete a local phone call. Designate an out-of-state contact for your family members to call and report their status.

Secure large objects.  Secure shelves to the wall studs and keep heavy objects on the lower shelves.  Fasten heavy frames and mirrors to the wall.  Secure your water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting to the floor.

Purchase a gas and water shutoff tool. You can purchase a gas/water shutoff tool at a hardware store. Place this tool next to your gas meter. Southern California Gas Company recommends, you turn off your gas meter if you smell gas, hear gas leaking or see other signs of a leak—as long as it is safe to do so!  You can use the same tool to shut off the water main if any water pipes are broken and leaking.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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