EARTHQUAKE EXIT STRATEGY
TOP TEN THINGS TO PACK
TOM T. MOORE
Exit strategy you might ask after an earthquake? Why not just have 3 days, one week, or even a month of goods on hand and ride it out? After all, the local, state and U.S. governments will step in and restore water and electricity, right?
Yes, IF it is just a localized event. But if you live in one of the high earthquake probability zones such as the North American West Coast or the Mississippi Valley, there is the worst-case possibility of multiple earthquakes along fault lines that run for hundreds of miles, including a number still being discovered. These fault lines travel through some of the most populated cities in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It’s one thing for say 50,000 or even 100,000 people to be without water and power for a few days. But what if suddenly one million, three million, or even ten million people find themselves without food, water, and electricity for MONTHS? Then you have the extreme probability of hundreds of thousands of people starving to death. Think how dangerous that will be. There is no way our governments and organizations like the Red Cross or Salvation Army can feed that many people even one meal a day.
So as people become more desperate you will see mobs searching for food and water—and of course valuables—in one sub-division after another. It’s impossible to protect your family against that type of onslaught. Your best bet is to leave the area IMMEDIATELY upon learning of widespread destruction.
And there’s another reason for leaving the area. Have you seen the news reports of the dust kicked up in the air by earthquakes? This is very toxic as you can imagine, and there will not be just one earthquake, but many aftershocks, some close to the original magnitude of the first one. As an example, since September 4, 2010 when Christchurch, New Zealand had a 7.1 earthquake that destroyed quite a bit of their downtown area and killing a number of people, they have had over 10,000 aftershocks! Once the West Coast begins to shake, I don’t think it will stop for many months or even years.
So what plans can you make to prepare for “the big one?”
- Plan your route of escape. Try to take roads that have NO bridges, or ones with side streets that bypass the bridges and overpasses, as there’s a good chance they will have collapsed or be unsafe to drive over.
- If your family members are in different locations when the earthquake strikes, you need to have a plan to pick up the children, or to meet your loved ones at a particular meeting point.
- Keep your cars tuned and with good tires. You may have to drive on the shoulders of roads with debris at times.
- Try to continually refill your gas tank at the half-way point instead of waiting until it’s almost empty. There will be no electricity to pump gas, so you’ll have to go with what’s in the gas tank.
- Consider buying a satellite radio for each vehicle and an Emergency Kit for each one, if you have not already done so.
- Buy earthquake insurance, if at all possible, from a national insurance company. You might find it easier to be compensated, especially if you can spare five minutes to take photos of your dwelling and damage.
So here are the TOP 10 THINGS TO PACK in preparation for widespread earthquakes:
- WATER—1 GALLON PER DAY FOR 3 DAYS FOR EACH PERSON
- TENT—YOU’LL NEED ONE WHETHER YOU EVACUATE OR STAY
- PLASTIC TUBS TO HOLD EMERGENCY ITEMS
- DRY FOOD—3 DAYS MINIMUM, PREFERABLY 7 OR MORE
- FLASHLIGHTS WITH EXTRA BATTERIES
- IMPORTANT PAPERS—Copies of Birth Certificates, Passports, Financial, Life & House/Property Insurance & Contact Info, Auto Insurance Policies,
- TOILET PAPER—LARGE SUPPLY
- TOILET SUPPLIES—SOAP AND OTHER ARTICLES
- MEDICINES--Plus copies of prescriptions, ID photos & Emergency med
- PET FOOD & SUPPLIES—At least 2 weeks minimum
I have the next top ten things to pack on my EARTHQUAKE PACKING LIST at http://www.thegentlewaybook.com/quakes.htm.
Mobility has to be your motto. Imagine you’re a contestant in The Great Race, and when things go wrong you need a plan B, C, and D. The tubs are mobile, and are easy to pack in a car or SUV. Most governments recommend trash cans, but they’re unwieldy for transport. It will be almost impossible to have more than 3 days water supply to take with you, due to space limitations.
So what happens if your route out of town is blocked? Plan B has to be using bikes or you start hiking out from where you’ve been able to get reach. Just pull off the road, take what you can carry and lay the rest out on the ground for whoever wants it. You MUST BE COMPASSIONATE for those who will stay with their cars, not thinking that in three days or so they will be starting to starve from no food or water. You might even try and convince some of them to go with you as you’re safer in a group, and they can carry things you might not be able to.
This means sturdy hiking boots and backpacks, and if you use bikes you need repair equipment to fix flats, etc. How far do you think you’ll get in flip-flops?
For those in Southern California, head for Phoenix or Las Vegas. Both have a lot of hotel rooms as long as you’re one of the first to arrive. You should also consider renting or buying a travel trailer or RV, as that may be your home for several months and might be less expensive. Collect the information about where these rental and sales location are for the RV’s and prices. Head for one of them upon arrival in the city you choose, while waiting for the infrastructure of the city you live in to be repaired—if it still exists after multiple earthquakes, liquefaction, and perhaps a tsunami or two.
If you live in San Francisco, you have a real challenge, as the bridges probably will be unusable, so you must plan to immediately head for the nearest dock to hitch a ride with boats that will come for rescues, or a ferry you can find that will take you anywhere that there’s transportation away from the coast. Then head as far to the east as possible. Sacramento will be overrun with refugees, so head for Utah. They have a lot of resort accommodations there, and if you’re one of the first you’ll have your pick of condos during any time period other than the middle of winter, or rent or buy a RV. Naturally money is on my second list of the next Top 10 things to pack. Or head for Las Vegas. I do not recommend Lake Tahoe, as there are fault lines in the area, and scientists say a 7.1 earthquake there could produce a 30-foot tsunami.
Farther up the coast from Oregon through British Columbia, you need to drive over the mountains and head east as far as possible. Choose a place that can handle a lot of refugees.
So even if the first major quake is not near you, LEAVE! The next one may very well be. ONE FINAL NOTE: There will be chaos after the earthquakes, with constant aftershocks, no water and electricity, and toxic chemicals in the air. I’m sure you don’t want to be forced to try and defend your family from marauding gangs. SO LEAVE!!