You've done it - you finally got your Earthquake Bag! You've already decided where you'll store it, and you are feeling a bit more at peace with the idea that emergencies happen.
But wait - don't forget a crucial step!
Everyone should have items in their emergency kit that only they can provide - personalized items that you'll be very happy to have stowed away.
Don't worry - we've done the work for you. You'll get a list of personal items to add on the tag of your Earthquake Bag, but we'll list them here for you too.
PERSONAL ITEM CHECKLIST
Contacts | Glasses | Medications
We can't (yet) customize your Earthquake Bag to incorporate your eye and medical prescriptions. While we work on mastering ophthalmology, you can just throw a week's worth of your medication and contacts in the bag. Don't forget an old pair of glasses!
After an emergency, cash is king. Hide a stash in your emergency kit in small bills. If systems are down, plastic won't work.
Throw in an old sweatshirt or jacket that compress for space. If you need to leave in a hurry, you'll be glad to have another layer.
Shoes | Socks
If an emergency happens in the middle of the night, you may not have the extra minute to put shoes and socks on. The next time you get new shoes, don't throw the old ones out. Toss them in your Earthquake Bag so you'll be ready for anything.
Spare Keys + A Local Map
For better or worse, we rely on our phones to do a lot. At the top of the list? Tell us where to go! If cell service and the electric grid are out, you might not have access to every piece of information in your pocket.
Get a local map, and put it in your Earthquake Bag.
While you are at it, make an extra copy of your house and car keys and throw them in there.
Copies of Credit Cards | ID | Insurance Docs
Know your credit car number by heart? How about your license number or insurance policy numbers? Us either. Make copies of all your key documents, accounts, and identification - having access to those will make life much easier in an emergency.
Work | School Emergency Plan
It’s likely you’ll be at work or school when an emergency hits, so it’s important to have a plan. Talk about the plan with children, decide who would pick them up in an emergency, and write it down.
It’s important that everyone can communicate, even when your phones are dead or local calls aren’t working. You need written contact information you can access, and an alternative plan for communicating.
Identify someone outside of your area who can act as a central point of contact to help you reconnect. In an emergency, it may be easier to call long-distance than to call across town because local phone lines can be jammed.
Ideally, everyone meets up at home and takes shelter together there. That isn’t always possible, so having a backup plan is important.
What if you are separated and can’t communicate? Think through those scenarios together, and create the guidelines you’ll follow. Identify where you’ll meet up, and how long you’ll stay if you can’t communicate