Earthquake and Wildfire Preparedness in Northern California

Water containers – quite possibly the most important thing to have in a disaster

Last night I went to bed listening to KNX Los Angeles – and I paid great attention to the fact that a 7.1 earthquake followed a 6.7 quake on the 4th of July – and in Ridgecrest (which reminded me of a past Northridge Quake . . . . . . ). It resonated with me because I recently realized that while I used to be (very) well versed in emergency preparedness (I was part if the team that launched the NERT program in San Francisco and worked at the OES there), that I have become way out of touch. At one time I was Red Cross Certified in First Aid and CPR. This earthquake – for really good reasons – woke me up – geez – I need to get back in the game so I can be of use when the next disaster strikes – and strike it will – and soon me thinks. I think about the previous Northridge and then Loma Preita earthquakes and wonder if history will repeat itself . . . . my bet is YES.

Anyway, Kat and I went on a couple car camping trips – and our only water for days was from these very nice Rubbermaid water containers. Our trips were usually desert – Utah and parts southwest, where you were out and far away from any civilization – which is the perfect “training” for an Earthquake or Wildfire (the catastrophe’s that have the highest probability of happening in the near future here in Orinda).

We also had a nice propane stove with fuel canisters – and in an urban environment – having propane for your grill is a big deal – and a great help when the electricity and water is turned off. I do know water wise – I can count on my water heater tank – but to be sure – if there is only ONE thing that I would rate as sustaining life – it would be clean and safe water. As an alternate – you could stock up on a rasher of bottled water. Food is second place – but having non perishable food is important – and then some water and some fuel for heat helps – think Quaker Oatmeal – non perishable but requires water and heat so you don’t choke on it – hahahaha

And I remember my days as a serious back packer in the Emmigrant Wilderness – with my best friend Rick:

Here’s a great “trick” – take instant Ramen Noodles with you and jerky – and just add boiling water – and you will feast like a king – all while “travelling light”. If you get that – you will get by in any disaster.

Halogen bike light – USB rechargeable

Luckily, the second most important thing you can have in an emergency – a flashlight – just happens to be our halogen bike lights.

A crank generated portable radio might be useful . . .

We have this crank radio and also a battery powered Sony IC-7600 – so we can get media – but I have trepidation’s about this because the media seems to like to drill way too much drama into the story, so I would say that me being connected to local emergency efforts would be way better:

To that end – I picked up an Icom ID-91 today:

I will start checking into the emmcomm nets and join our local CERT. I feel being a part of the community is the best thing you can do – help your neighbors, etc.

But sometimes – you have to “get around” – even when roads are closed . . .

Kat and I know way better than most in Lamorinda – if you really need to get away fast – you better be a cyclist – not a car junkie. We will whiz by those in cars stuck in traffic . ..

An air mattress and pup tent round out what I think would be essential. I’ll add to this post – I’m no survivalist – but my lack of survivalist paranoia will serve me very well . . . keep it simple and pragmatic, I say . . .

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