Posts Tagged 'earthquakes'

Living in earthquake country

Or: how I satisfy my inner doomsday prepper

Well, there ‘s been an earthquake here. It happened in the middle of the night. We both slept through it, though and I only heard about it when I met up with some people the next day. Oh well 🙂

Still, even though you can sleep through many of them, people here really do stress the importance of being prepared for an earthquake. The Great California Shake Out is a good example. And when we moved into our apartment we were given a packet of informational leaflets including a Red Cross pamphlet about being prepared. All this is music to my ears.

You see, back when I lived alone people who accidentally glimpsed my stashed supplies liked to joke about how I could easily survive a decent nuclear winter in my apartment. I’m a hamster when it comes to usable things such as dry goods, canned food and toilet paper. Beloved thinks I take it way too far (he’s likely right – I think that I used to store over four times the recommended amounts of supplies), but even he agreed that moving to California probably warranted some dedicated preparation.  And so, I embarked on Project Bug-Out Bag, aimed  at keeping two people safe and comfortable outdoors for 72 hours.

Here are most of our accumulated supplies:

Picture by me.

4 gallons of water

tablets for water purification

a sterno stove


a first aid kit

asthma medication (that’s the little purple box with Russian / Greek / something (?) script)

dust masks

trash bags (for waterproofing and because we have no tarp)

ziploc bags (for keeping small things safe from water)

some small tiewraps (no single pre-built kit names these, but I figure they’re useful)

some twine

some stronger rope

a box cutter

solar powered flashlights with a back-up battery and a head lamp with a normal battery

a small radio with batteries

Not pictured, but still included: lighters, sleeping bags, sterno for the stove, smaller water bottles for accessibility

Still needed: food, multitool / an actual knife, a pot for cooking food (depending on food choice), clothes, copies of passports, some cash.


Picture by me. This is the BOB (Bug-Out Bag)

At this moment most of the supplies from the first picture are packed up in the bag in picture two. The thing is uncomfortably heavy, but considering that it is a very standard size back pack, I was quite pleased with how much fit in. I could not pack all of the water (there are two gallons in there, though) and I packed enough candles for 120 hours of burn time (60 if you burn two at the same time), keeping the other ones tucked away elsewhere.

I plan on finding another bag (secondhand, ideally, I’m cheap like that) for dividing the weight and increasing carrying capacity. That’s when I can look out for some freeze dried meals / granola bars or other lightweight food choices as well. I’m thinking of using some of the rope to just tie the sleeping bags to the backpacks as well.

Once the rest of the kit is also securely packed, I can just stash the bags out of sight, knowing that if the Big One hits, we have a decent chance of not succumbing to exposure or thirst before help comes in. That idea really helps me sleep through the ‘little ones’  at night 🙂