In the event of a major earthquake,
the first step is to survive.
When the ground stops shaking, grab your go-bag and evacuate to higher ground.
Do not wait for a siren - we may only have 10 minutes before the wave hits.
If you can walk DO NOT TAKE YOUR CAR - the roads will likely be damaged and/or traffic congestion will actually slow you down. Please leave road space for those elderly and disabled who truly need a ride.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EVACUATION MAP (needs to be updated with the new route behind Back Track)
There are several skills that will be crucial for you and your family's survival during a major disaster.
- Physical strength to get to higher ground quickly and to carry supplies
- Tolerance for discomfort
- Know when and how to shut off utilities (and have the tools to do so!)
- How to find, hunt and prepare food
- How to sanitize water
- Wilderness First Aid
- Building a shelter
- Building a fire (and putting out a fire!)
Putting together an emergency kit does not have to be difficult or expensive. We recommend that your kit has enough supplies to last you seven to 10 days at least, with more supplies if you have room. You will also need a lighter to-go kit (a "go bag") for each household member in case you need to quickly leave your home. Having kits at work and in your car is also a good idea. To get you started, here are five things that are absolutely necessary to have in an emergency kit.
- 1 gallon per person per day, 1/2 for drinking, 1/2 for cooking/sanitation
- A method of water purification
- Store food that's high in calories and has a long shelf-life
- Consider meal replacement bars, canned foods and dry food items that don't need to be cooked to eat
- Make sure to include food you like to eat
- Avoid candles to minimize fire risk
- Include safe light options like a battery-powered flashlight with extra batteries or a hand-crank flashlight
- Light sticks are a long-lasting source of light that are inexpensive and fits easily into any size bag
- Include at least one change of clothing
- If you get wet, it's important that you get dry as soon as possible because moisture pulls heat away from your body (wool or synthetic clothing that wicks moisture away from your body is recommended)
- To stay warm and dry you can also pack extra blankets, a tarp or rain gear
- Include items for basic care like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers and pain-relief medication
- Make sure to include medications and equipment specific to your needs (STIHC is actively working on getting a 3 month emergency supply of medications for our patients - stay tuned!)
- Tools to start a fire outside (even in the rain!) - tinder, spark source, kept in waterproof container
- Adjustable wrench
- Small ABC fire extinguisher
After these basics, what you stock in your kit is up to you. The information below will give you a number of things you can add to your kit and some fun and easy ways to put them together, not only for your home, but your car, workplace and school. The most important thing is to start - do not let perfect be the enemy of the good. Don't be one of the people who after the disaster says, "I wish I had put a kit together."
Download Information and brochures from American Red Cross, Clallam County and City of Seattle Emergency Department:
Family Emergency Kit and Disaster Plan
30 Day Supply List
Evacuation "Go Bag" and checklist
Car Emergency Kit and Vehicle Preparedness
School or Work Kit
Get Prepared in 12 months using this Preparedness Calendar
Cost Saving Ideas
There are lots of discounted supplies through REI Outlet, Army surplus outlets, Sierra Trading Post, and even Groupon.