START YOUR QUAKE KIT
by Christine Devine
What girl doesn't love a chance to shop at Target! Tar-jhay as we say. Not that I'm endorsing Target. I am endorsing picking up some quake supplies the next time you're at Target or a store much like it. Heck, the Red Cross even recommends the 99-Cent Store!
On that note, we take you shopping! I arrived at the Target on Lake in Pasadena with one thing on the mind, earthquake supplies. On this trip I'd have to skip the make-up. By pass the tank tops. Avoid the earrings. This was a trip solely for essentials.
I met up with Mark Stapf, a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Mark is a disaster specialist. Pair him with me, a shopping specialist (hee hee), and we're good to go!
With red shopping cart in hand we were off and on the hunt for supplies to help one survive for three days to two weeks in the event of a disaster. In quake-country-California that disaster could very well be an earthquake.
Here's a list of what made it into my cart. Next time you're out-and-about throw a few essentials in yours! Where to put them? Ah, that was our first stop. Plastic bins. If you have a quake kit you might also want a bin for the extras and custom items. If you don't have a pre-packaged kit here's an easy way to start one that should cost about $100 bucks in total. Items can be purchased over time.
PRINT THIS LIST OUT AND TAKE IT WITH YOU:
-large plastic bin
-water (one gallon per person per day)
-non-perishable food (easy to open, easy to eat)
-utensils, plates, cups
-toiletries (travel size work well)
(shampoo, conditioner, chapstick, lotion, razor, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, hand sanitizer, feminine supplies)
-pet food (dry, or cans with a pull tab)
-baby food, diapers
-plastic trash bags
-tools etc. (wrench, duct tape, utility knife, gloves, whistle)
You'll want to buy a big enough bin to include an extra set of clothing and tennis shoes, a battery operated radio, personal documents, etc. I threw in a deck of cards and my old Trivial Pursuit game for entertainment, some M&M's and licorice for creature comfort foods. Others might want wine or games for the kids)
This story is produced in conjunction with the American Red Cross in preparation of the Great California Shakeout. Last year, 12 million people took part in the disaster drill reminding us to "Drop, Cover and Hold On."
FACT: There is a 50% chance of a magnitude 7.5 or greater earthquake somewhere in California in the next 30 years. www.scec.org/ucerf
So in conclusion, shop away! It may not be as fun as shopping for shoes or towels. But then again, if/when a big quake hits where will you turn?
As I write this story two colleagues are reminiscing about the Northridge earthquake. One talks of his family having to live in their backyard. Another colleague talks of having no food at home. I'm praying the big one doesn't ever hit. But if it does, I do want to be somewhat prepared. I covered one too many news conferences with Cal-tech to ignore the reality that we live in quake country.