72 Hour Family Preparedness

Would you be ready to ride it out if an earthquake or flood hit today? With some basic planning and thinking ahead, preparing your home for a disaster is easy. These tips on what to do before, during and after an earthquake were developed by the California Governor's Office of Emergencies Services to help you get ready to ride it out!

In addition, FEMA has prepared a complete guide to citizen preparedness click here to view.  

The first 72 hours after an earthquake or flood are critical. Electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working. In addition, public safety services such as police, fire departments and public works personnel will be busy handling serious crisis. You should be prepared to be self sufficient (able to live without running water, electricity and/or gas, telephones and assistance from safety services) for at least three days following a disaster. To do so, keep on hand in a central location the following:

  1. Food - Enough for 72 hours, preferably a week.
  2. Water - Enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably one week. Store in an airtight container and replace it every six months. 
  3.  First Aid Kit - Make sure it's well stocked. Especially with bandages and disinfectants.
  4. Fire Extinguisher - Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires.
  5. Flashlights with extra batteries. DO NOT use matches or candles after a disaster until you are certain there are no gas leaks. Keep batteries in a water proof container or bag; storing in the freezer will keep them fresh too.
  6. Portable radio with extra batteries. Most telephones could be out of order after an earthquake. The radio will be your best source of information.
  7. Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money.  Save enough cash for one tank of gas and three meals for the whole family. ATMs and other electronic point-of-sale devices will be inoperable without electricity. 
  8. Alternative cooking source. Store a barbeque or camping stove for outdoor cooking.  Remember to store extra matches in a waterproof container or bag.
  9. Special items. Have at least 1 weeks supply of medications and food for those with special needs.  Remember to change medications in accordance with pharmacist recommendations; keeping in mind of expiration dates and special instructions.
  10. Tools. Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off the gas meter.
  11. Have a Plan.  To better assist you in your family preparations, here are two checklist, adapted from a  FEMA's Emergency Management Institute IS-317 Course exercise (Introduction to CERT).

Click on the links below to download and print these pdf documents (note they are legal size (8 1/2 x 14). To print these on letter size paper (8 1/2 x 11), Click here to view printer settings for scaling.

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