When Quake or Fire Strikes…
Anyone who has known me for a few years and was around to witness my meltdown during my first fire season in SoCal can tell you… I was absolutely clueless & a mental mess. While many are prepared, I found out just how many (like me) were not. After that horrible experience, I made a vow to never allow myself to feel that helpless or vulnerable again. I was determined to be “ready” & help others, so that we felt empowered vs powerless if we ever had to face that awful scenario again. Unfortunately, it’s just about “that time of year” and the area has already reported some quakes with a high rating…and a few small fires.
I started by asking clients what they did to prepare and I was amazed at just how many were like me, and didn’t really prepare. But some were and had great plans in place! I have collected a “detailed, yet general list” that is a pretty good start. No, none of us want to deal with this, but it is much better to come from a place of preparedness vs scared & scattered …it enables us to respond vs. react.
First, smartphones. We all have them. I have a list of apps that I have on my phone and highly recommend you put on yours too. They are rated highly for SoCal…
- 1. QuakeFeed App: QuakeFeed monitors earthquake activity throughout the world and presents data in a an easy-to-read format. It can also be customized. You can list all quakes within a certain radius. You can also specify the magnitude of the quake and alert you to the level in a certain radius…
- 2. Cal Fire Ready for WildFire App: This is a MUST-HAVE app if you live in California. It offers great information on how to prepare yourself, family & property. It also alerts you if there is a fire near you or your workplaces. It also provides highly detailed info about all wildfires in California.
- 3. San Diego County App: Unfortunately, not everyone may be together when or if something happens, so ti’s important to have a PLAN in place, in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations. This app contains disaster preparedness. IE: Create your own plan and share with family and friends. The ability to build an emergency kit that can be backed up, Shelter locations, ect…
- 4. Red Cross Emergency App: The Red Cross recommends a (3) day water supply and a (2) week food supply, as well as emergency items, documents ect… You can find a full list at; PrepareSanDiego.ORG
Next, what is your family plan? Do you have one? Who’s in charge of what? Do you have “GO Bags?” If the answer is YES! Awesome!! Congrats on being proactive & prepared. If not, I’ve got you covered. I created my “Go Bag” after the fire season. I didn’t even know what a “Go Bag” was… I don’t ever want someone to feel as scared & as vulnerable AND ALONE as I felt when all this went down. My poor family, back east… I called several times a day, crying & scared…it’s amazing how miles apart, just seeing a text OR hearing their voices calmed me down…and my awesome brother, Kenny; “You are NOT alone! We are right here for you & a plane ticket waiting if you need it! We got you!” … I love them so much, and yet was filled with terror of the unknown…NEVER again! GI JANE here, reporting for duty!
- IE: Family of 4: Mom, Dad, Sarah & Jimmy
- Family Plan: It’s best to have one in place…No idea where to start? Everyone has a job to do and the PLAN is practiced every 3mos. Here’s an example…
- Dad: Activates alert for all family members, Fireproof carrier safe, contents include; insurance docs, house deed, everyone’s birth certs, medical docs, proof of residence, $5k cash, (ATM’s may not work do cc machines won’t either), all family passports, physical maps, gas for vehicle, his own personal “GO BAG”
- Mom: Contacts all family members, meeting time established, or meeting place, family “Go Bags” if no-one else is home, food from freezer (clean garbage bin marked “EMERGENCY” -lined with clean garbage bags- fill with ice, 5 gals of frozen water, frozen food, “GO KIT”, …keeps everyone in the loop & in touch, reviews the PLAN every 3mos family drills…DO NOT get LAZY about this!
- Sarah: Responsible for the family pets, pet food & Go Bag
- Jimmy: Responsible for family pets, & sister & Go Bag
A great example of “Go Bags” or “Bug Out Bag”…each family member has a wheeled garbage barrel in the garage with their name on it. Inside is everything they need to Bug Out. It’s updated 2x a year… Additionally, their is one by the freezer marked Freezer/Food and Mom can just load it with ice and food…roll them all over to the SUV’s and off you go….
“Bug Out Bags aka BOB”:
With a Bug Out Bag, the focus is more on evacuation rather than outright survival. If you have absolutely no time to lose, you just pick up your ALREADY PACKED Bug Out Bag and make it to safety as fast as possible.
Keep in mind that A bug out bag (BOB) is NOT a full-fledged survival kit. To Clarify WHAT is is, I’ve put together this Bug Out Bag List and show you the top 15+ THINGS you should have in YOUR Bug out Bag.
A Bug Out Bag should be light and must contain supplies that will enable you to get through 96 hours (4 days).
Why just 96 hours? – Because this bag contains only the bare essentials that are needed for evacuation.
If your house catches fire or if there is an earthquake (or worse) – you won’t have time to think and pack; you have to respond immediately – within seconds.
Many people become confused when faced with the prospect of preparing a Bug Out Bag – your home contains hundreds of items that you use on a daily basis. Of course, it’s difficult to pick a handful and leave back the rest! However, in times of survival and when the proverbial “fit hits the shan” – you have to make many difficult choices and sacrifices!
Important: Bug Out Bags NEED to be made according to climate and region. If you’re in a northern California, take that into consideration… You can find all this on Amazon or the sites I listed. An average Bug Out Bag is $100-
Top 15 items: Water purification straws/bottles, ID, CASH, Swiss Army knife, clothes, food, way to purify water, medications, matches (way to make fire) solar blankets (keep warm), boots, wool socks, GPS, Flares, First Aid Kit, Snake bite kit, backpack, something to cook in, phone, solar charger…. this is a bare minimum list….
- Additional items to think about….
Flashlights, toiletries, shoes, pants, towel, solar phone chargers, sweatshirts, coat, solar blanket, sleeping bag, Tarps, gloves, breathing masks, flashlights, (solar) & battery, portable generator, First Aid kit, family member MEDICATIONS, …anything you need is on the PrepareSanDiego.ORG website…and or SURVIVAL.com, PreppersSurvive.com
- Get your “GO BAGS” ready… 2. Make a PLAN… 3. PRACTICE your plan… 4. BE Informed- in Cali our risks are quakes, fires, and floods… Determine how you want to be prepared & make sure someone is First Aid/CPR/AED certified to be better prepared….
By being proactive, informed & prepared we are able to come from a place of calm, better to serve ourselves, our families, and those that need our help during times of crisis…When we come together as community, we rise by lifting those around us… Creating a sense of calm, community & love during times that offer such great challenge for us to step outside our comfort zones and be more of who we were truly meant to be…loving, caring, kind souls here to be angels for each other…
In Gratitude & Love- Madison