Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Earthquake Preparedness

On Easter Sunday, there was a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Baja California and was felt by millions in Southern California and beyond. I was grocery shopping and everyone literally just froze when the rumbling started. As everything swayed, I backed away from the shelves I was next to and started walking towards the exit of the store. Luckily, nothing fell off any shelves and a minute later I had checked out with my groceries. I've already felt 6 aftershocks/other earthquakes since then!

I've felt some earthquakes before, but this was the second most intense by feeling and the most intense by magnitude; I had been in a 6.8 in my home state in 2001. At 4:15am one day last week, when I was awoken by one of the larger aftershocks, my thoughts immediately drifted to what I would grab if I had to run out of my apartment in the event of a much more serious earthquake... and I realized I don't have any safety precautions in place. The following is a brief list of what I have decided to do in preparation for a potential emergency in the future:

1. I need to make an EQ kit.
It should include a blanket, a sweatshirt/extra clothes, bottles of water, flashlight, extra batteries, first aid items, copies of my important documents and assorted foodstuffs. I already have some of these items in the back of my car as a precaution, but I know it's not enough. One set for my car and one set for my apartment.

2. I need to know what to grab.
Other than my EQ kit, I would hands-down grab my laptop/external hard drive and my purse if I had no time or a few minutes. If it was more... sentimental jewelry, maybe some of my beloved heels or favorite clothing items?

3. I need to back items up/record items.
A list of important phone numbers/account numbers that are e-mailed to myself so I know who to contact (insurance company, checking/savings account numbers to access my money, etc). Important documents (or copies of) all in a folder. Pictures of my most expensive items. Inventory of what I own and estimated costs, even though it does not amount to a lot of money - yet!

4. Get renter's insurance.
I said I would get renter's insurance when I started this blog... and never got around to it. Now I definitely want/need it! I will talk to my insurance company soon and hopefully get some sort of discount as it will be an additional policy on top of my car insurance. From the research I've done online, earthquake insurance is not worth the additional cost, since I currently do not own that much stuff (rough estimate of ~$10-15K, not including my car).

Are you prepared for any sort of disaster? Do you have any "specialty" or additional insurance, such as EQ or flood?


Sunflowers April 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM  

We have renter's insurance and a first aid kit, but I probably need to make a EQ specific kit. I received a pamphlet in the mail from some councilmember that had a comprehensive list of all the things we should do to prepare for an earthquake... Maybe getting that stuff together would be a good task for the weekend.

Anonymous April 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

When the earthquake hit, it took me a while to register what was going on. I had just come home from a cruise, so I still felt "like the boat is moving"...but that sure wasn't the boat! LOL I felt 2 aftershocks this past weekend. The last time I thought about getting a disaster readiness kit together before the earthquake was during the wildfires but I never actually put it together. I have homeowner's insurance but not earthquake insurance.

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