I am soo grateful that Alegre did this presentation because I actually was planning to have another friend, Aaron do this presentation for the Family Love Village this year but he had moved away last year. So when I heard Alegre was doing this presentation I approached her to see if she'd be willing to do a presentation for our village, as well and am very excited to announce that she will be coming to us in the next few months!
For the time being, here are my extensive notes on this very important topic. And yes this is going to be a novel (lol) and I will not apologize this time for the lengthyness of this post (like I normally do) because, well... I feel you and your family could benefit from all the information listed in this post. So here goes:
4 STAGES FOR PREPARING FOR AN EMERGENCY:
STAGE 1: PLAN AND TRAIN - Estimated cost is around $100 and takes about 30 hours.
Part of planning is sitting down and creating a plan. This can consist of getting your important documents (i.e. driver's license, ID, birth certificate, SSN #, etc ) and making copies of it. Copies to go in 1) each To-Go kit, 2) a fireproof safe outside the house (actually it's best to keep the originals in this fireproof safe), and 3) 3 flash drives - one in your To-Go Kit, one to a trusted family member, and one at the office. You can also fax yourself a copy to your email address, as well. Videotape and photograph all of your belongings of important and valuable items so you can show the insurance. A good note is videotaping the date on a newspaper to show proof of the date that you are videotaping. Fax yourself your bank statements, a copy of your mortgage, insurance paperwork, your pet's chip ID, etc. It's also a good idea to have recent photographs with your pet so that you can show proof that your pet belongs to you. It's also important to have recent photographs of family so you can identify them.
Create and type a wallet sized emergency plan. Make copies and laminate them. Each To-Go Kit should have a laminated emergency plan card! (The "To Go" kits will be described in detail under Stage 2 below)
Here's an example of a wallet sized emergency plan:
Grab flashlight/lightstick and shoes under bed. Duck/cover under solid piece of furniture AWAY from glass or in interior hallway. DO NOT switch on lights until you are sure there is no gas leak. If you smell gas, shut it off. Turn off water to house to keep it clean and potable and turn off electrical breakers (individual first then main.) Water heater good source of drinking water. Stay where you are if it’s safe, you may want to go to nearby park (nothing to fall on you) but call each other or out of town contact so that someone knows you are safe. If you can’t get a hold of anyone and not safe where you are, head to [designated location]. Leave a note under your door mat saying where you’ve gone. If you are passing by [location on the way], stop there & leave a note in “message drop” saying day/time, where you are going, your condition, and anything else important. Message drop locations: My house: Potted orange tree to the right of hose in front of house, Your house: Pot under living room window.
If we can’t reach each other, out of town calls may still be possible, once safe check in with: 1st [out of town contact] 646.322.XXXX (cell) XXX@gmail.com, 212.412.XXX (work land) 2nd [out of town contact] XXXXXX@lilly.com, 636.346.XXX (cell) or 317.276.XXX (work land).
Our phone numbers and networks:
Dalmacio & Vivi Verizon: 818.333.XXX and 310.259.XXX, land
818.708.XXX | Linda/Michael: AT&T 818.634.XXX,
818.634.XXX/818.635.XXX, land 818.776.XXX | Bob: AT&T
213.447.XXXX | Davon: Sprint 213.926.XXX | Eddie: land
Remember: 911 for emergencies
-Same network cell phones more likely to work with each other
-If cell phones don’t work for calls, texting may still work
-Landlines have their own electricity source
Other important aspects of planning for an emergency is making a disaster plan with 1-3 other families. There is peace of mind in numbers. It's always good to have other people that have your back and vice versa. Part of planning with a group, it should be decided who's house is the best location to store supplies and in the event of an emergency should all go to this location. Once you have decided who's house that everyone should try to go to, it's a good idea for everyone to help pitch in with the supplies.
Other examples that are part of planning is safe guarding doors and putting child-proof latches on the top cupboards so that your glassware doesn't fall down. If you don't already have one, get a landline that plugs into an electrical source in case your cell phone doesn't work.
Get your community organized. See if your neighborhood is open to organizing an emergency plan together. Google map the streets in your neighborhood. Find out the ages of children and elderly. Find out who has what skills in your neighborhood (i.e. your neighbor 3 houses down is a fireman, etc). And find out where the gas meter is for each of your neighbors on either side of your house.
I. Steps to Creating a Plan:
1. Pick your SAFE ZONE inside the house. The safest place is under heavy furniture but if that furniture is surrounded by windows, then that wouldn't be a good place to pick as your safe zone. Another good option is interior hallways where there are no pictures or glass within the vicinity. This is a good place to pick because normally you don't have to worry about doors swinging open. During an earthquake, even in a hallway that doesn't have anything breakable, it is still wise to duck and cover. NOTE: Majority of injuries occur due to flying objects!
2. Make sure to have your "To Go" kits near the Safe Zone.
3. Prepare a bag for "Under Your Bed" supplies. This consist of: 1) a pair of tennis shoes, 2) hard hat, 3) crankable LED flashlight, 4) glow sticks, 5) whistle, 6) mask, and 7) goggles. If it's in the middle of the night and it's during an emergency, grab these supplies and go to your Safe Zone. I also put both my cats' carriers next to the "Under Your Bed" supplies in our open closet. Since our bed lies on a Japanese tatami mat close to the floor, we don't have the option to put these supplies under the bed. And since our closet doesn't have a door on it (which is probably a good thing), we have the supplies on a rack close to the floor in the closet.
4. Do NOT turn your lights on due to sparks.
5. Know where your gas meter is ahead of time. That way if you smell gas after an earthquake, you will know to go to your gas and turn it off. To turn off your gas valve, turn the valve clockwise and the knob should be horizontal. It is also a good idea to know ahead of time where your neighbors' gas meters are at in case you need to shut their gas off.
6. It's also a good idea to turn off your water because whatever is in your water heater is good drinkable water. It's also good to know how to turn off your electrical, as well.
7. Once earthquake is over and it is safe to go outside, grab your "To Go" Kits.
II. Training - Training is also an important part of Stage 1. You can check to see if your local fire department offers training for emergency preparedness. This is FREE to the public. You can also go to http://www.cert-la.com/ and download certificate programs there and learn more information on getting certified.
1. It's important to know that during an emergency, it can take up to about 3-5 days for emergency services to get to you and your loved ones. So it's best to be prepared and take it into your own hands during this time by following the 4 stages of preparation. It's suggested to prepare for at least 4-5 weeks worth of supplies.
STAGE 2: CREATING "TO GO" KITS - Estimated cost is $300 and takes about 6 hours
I. Home To-Go Kit:
Pack the following items in a large and sturdy backpack:
- Laminated wallet sized card with your typed Emergency Plan.
- Leather gloves (to get glass out of the way)
- Medical latex gloves
- Crankable flashlight
- WD 40 lube
11. Map of your area (identify parks, fire depts and safe places to go)
12. Female hygiene
13. Food (energy bars, dehydrated foods, nuts except for oily nuts like walnuts, chocolate - make sure it's a shelf life of at least 5 years)
14. Water (change every 6 months)
15. Pen and paper to leave notes
17. Masks & goggles
18. Small bills
21. Plastic bags for sanitation
22. Clothes (for warm weather and cold weather)
25. First aid kit
26. Copy of important documents (paper and/or flashdrive)
NOTE: The top 4 most important items on this list are: water, hat, shoes and first aid kit in case you have to walk far and it is hot).
II. Work To-Go Kit:
- All of the above PLUS the following:
- Flash drive with copies of important documents at the office
- Need to create a separate wallet card Emergency Plan for your office
III. Car To-Go Kit:
- Everything that is listed in the Home To-Go Kit PLUS the following:
- If you have a baby or toddler, an extra baby carrier
- A favorite toy that your child won't miss, books, crayons and paper for your child (I thought of this one since it may help to keep your child occupied after an emergency or to have things that help to calm them down, such as a favorite toy or book).
- Leash for your pet
- Harness for your pet
- Formula for your baby
- Eco-friendly baby wipes
- Eco-friendly diapers
- Knife and/or box cutters (My hubby Dalmacio is a firm believer in box cutter/utility knives and loves this brand.)
- Water filter on top of Kleen Kanteen bottle water
- Rubber tubing/surgical tubing
- Mosquito control
- Crank radio or solar radio
- Check books
- Head lamps
- Emergency Response Kit
- Dog kit (saddle bag) - you can get one that has everything needed for pets
- Booties for your dog - in case they have to walk on glass
- Clothes for your pet in case it is cold
- "Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants" Book
- "US Army Survival Manual"
- Lamp light
- Batteries (Home Depot has batteries that have a shelf life of 15 years). It's best to keep in the original packaging, standing upright!
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Coffee filters - this is helpful when deciphering and filtering water to make into drinkable water
- Thermal blankets
- Emergency sleeping bags
- Tube tents
STAGE 3: MAJOR HOME SUPPLIES: Estimated cost is $1000. This is storage for water and food.
- Rule for water: 1 gallon per person per day. For 1 month, you may want to have up to 100 gallons. You can get ring barrels (55 gallons each). If it's a plastic container, make sure it is NOT sitting on the concrete because chemicals can leach into the container. So it's highly suggested to put the ring barrels on top of cardboard.
- Store home supplies in a trash can that has wheels outside so that you can roll offsite.
- Examples of food to store: dehydrated foods, nuts (avoid oily nuts like walnuts), beans, rice.
- For pets: canned food. We do our best not to have dry kibble because kibble is not good for our cats to eat but in this case of an emergency, it doesn't hurt to have a bag of grain-free dry kibble, as well.
- Tent & sleeping bags
- Old cast iron skillets
- Stainless steel utensils
- Cardboard boxes and aluminum. You can cook food as a solar cooker this way.
- Keep bikes accessible and part of preparedness
- Get your windows tempered.
- Bolt foundation and visible studs
- Secure top heavy furniture (especially if taller than wide)
- Secure electronics
- Secure water heater (move it outside if you can)
- Secure cabinets
- Get fire extinguishers
- Remove chemicals from the house and make sure to bring to a safe center for disposal!
And just to continue with my tradition of posting references, I wanted to share more information. Remember how I mentioned in the beginning of this post that my friend Aaron was going to be a guest speaker for the Family Love Village but moved away? Well good news, a mutual friend of ours sent me a link to a post that Aaron put on his blog. Not only was there one but there are two posts on his blog, Transitional Forces that I feel are great resources. So please check out: Shaken Up and Earthquakes and Whistles.
Other great resources are:
- True Readiness: A wonderful website that offers emergency kits and other survival needs. And they are local (Woodland Hills, CA). And the best part is the customer service is amazing!
- Quake Kare: Another website that carries a variety of Emergency Kits that provides some of the items listed in the To-Go kits. The company is a local company too. They are located in Moopark, CA.
- SOS Survival Products - Another emergency store located in Van Nuys, CA.
- Gluten Free & Vegan Survival Foods: I did a search and found this company that sells gluten free and vegan survival foods which is important for Andrik and myself since he is allergic to wheat/gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, and cashews. Although I haven't yet figured out how to get to the actual option to review the foods they sell. I may have to call them to find out. Actually I would just skip to items 7 & 8 below for sites that are easier to access for their organic and allergy free items.
- Earthquake Country: a great reference for earthquakes
- Linda Pruett- If you live in the San Fernando Valley, ask to be part of her email list. She sends out important information in regards to emergencies. Her email is email@example.com
- Organic Survivalist Site - "A Resource Website For Emergency Preparedness & Survivalism From a Holistic Perspective" - the tagline says it all! Sooo glad I found this site! :o) I absolutely LOVE this site! One of the posts on this site that I'm truly grateful for is: Water Purification & Storage - Healthy Ways to Store Water.
- Also check out this other post from Organic Survivalist Site: Hemp and its EP Benefits
- Storable Organics - This site has organic food in bulk, such as quinoa (which is one of the best EP proteins out there for vegans/vegetarians) and organic brown rice.
- Allergy Free Foods - this one is really awesome with good prices for 25lb and 50lb bags of bulk foods that also have organic choices!
- Essential Living Foods - Amazing site for organic superfoods
- If you live in Los Angeles and want very reasonably priced water barrels, call John at 661-505-7032. I discovered him on Craigslist and he delivered 3 of them to us at $25 each. I can't recall if they are BPA-free or not so you may want to ask when you talk to him.
I would like to end this post with a loving and affirmative prayer towards the souls that are being affected by natural disasters throughout the world.
I set the loving intention that all the souls being affected by natural disasters are healing - whether it's for physical, emotional and/or spiritual healing. Knowing that they are not alone, that there are people here to help them - whether it's actually being physically there to lend a hand or through donations or through prayers - we as loving beings are continuing to keep the vibrations high and envisioning global healing NOW. Knowing that as aware beings, we are setting the intention to continue leading and role modeling conscious and eco-holistic living. By being conscious, by being eco-friendly and by living a more holistic lifestyle, we are setting the pathway for this global healing to continue through us role modeling and creating this healing in our own backyards, our own homes, as well. I am ever-so-grateful for the families that have joined the Family Love Village and for my fellow readers on this blog who are continuing to join us on this conscious journey for it is within this space where change occurs. Just by supporting and having the willingness to actually "be the change we wish to see in the world", we are making a difference...we are a creating the conscious shift on a vibrational level. And I thank each and everyone of you for being on this playing field of conscious BEINGness for yourself, for your families, for Mama Gaia, for the animal kingdom, for ALL living things. And with this deep gratitude, I release this prayer towards all living kind to experience this shift with us. I release it into the winds, into the oceans, into the embers and into the earth - knowing that we are ALL one with each other, one with animals, one with creatures, one with the planet, one with life. And so it is...Aho, Aum and Amen.