The wake-up quake: Are you prepared?

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2002

The earthquake many of us experienced on Nov. 3 was what I would like to think of as the "wake-up quake." This experience should serve as a teachable moment for those of us not in the midst of cleaning up after what could have been a major disaster for us here on the Kenai Peninsula.

Many Alaskans are prepared to shelter in place if necessary. However, if you had to evacuate right this minute, would you have the provisions packed and ready to go? Or, would you have to scramble to assemble the necessary food, clothing, shelter and supplies?

According to the American Red Cross, "If you only have moments before leaving, grab these things and go":

Medical supplies: prescription medications and dentures

Disaster supplies: flashlight, batteries, radio, first-aid kit, bottled water

Clothing and bedding: a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member

Car keys to the place you may be going (friend or relative's home).

Being ready for emergencies is up to you. There are some excellent pamphlets provided by FEMA and American Red Cross to help you with preparedness for emergency situations. They are available online at

Use the following checklist and suggested resources to prepare for disasters.

Create a family disaster plan. Use the publications "Your Family Disaster Plan" and "Emergency Preparedness Checklist" -- American Red Cross/FEMA.

Store emergency food and water supplies. Use the publication "Food and Water in an Emergency" -- FEMA, American Red Cross and Clorox.

Assemble a first-aid kit for home. Use the publication "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit" -- FEMA/American Red Cross.

Assemble tools and supplies. Use the publication "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit" -- FEMA/American Red Cross.

Collect and store clothing and bedding. Use the publication "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit" -- FEMA/American Red Cross.

Assemble an emergency car supplies kit. Use the publication "Emergency Preparedness Check-list" -- FEMA/American Red Cross.

Assemble special items for baby or family members with special needs. Use the publication "Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit"; "Disaster Preparedness for People with Disabilities" (46-page booklet) --American Red Cross.

Assemble an emergency kit for pets. Use the publication "Pets

and Disaster: Get Prepared" -- Humane Society of U.S./American Red Cross.

Linda Tannehill is an agent at the Alaska Cooperative Extension Office. She is a home economist and involved in the 4-H/Youth Develop-ment programs. The Kenai Penin-sula District Extension Office is at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite A, Soldotna, AK. The phone number is 262-5824 or toll-free at (800) 478-5824.

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