I didn’t have any recent pics of emergency prep, so here is my car crammed full of horse-show stuff.
Like most people in my region, I woke up this morning at 3:21 to the shaking of an earthquake. Being 3 in the morning, I was rather dazed and couldn’t think of what to do. I found myself standing next to my bed, watching my bedroom door open and close repeatedly all on its own.
When it finally stopped, things seemed fine in my house, so pulled out my phone to google the US Geological Survey earthquake map, and kept hitting refresh until it showed the big red circle for the magnitude 6.0 that had just hit. I eventually fell back asleep and woke up to 30 new text messages all about the earthquake.
I live 40 or so miles away from the epicenter and was spared any damage, but friends and coworkers in Napa were not so lucky. Everything breakable in their houses is broken, and power is intermittent for some, and yet to return for others.
My boss was told early this morning that she and her family should gather important paperwork and be prepared to evacuate. She’s since been notified that their neighborhood is (thankfully) safe, and has spent the day cleaning up broken glass without power.
Because my preparations are for exactly this type of emergency, here’s what I learned:
* My stupid self doesn’t know how to turn off the gas. I mean, of all of the most basic things, how do I not know this? I even have a fancy wrench for it, but would not have known what to do at 3 o’clock this morning. I have since done some online studying, and will go out and stare at my gas meter later today until I am confident that I can figure it out. Here is a PG&E link about it if you’re ignorant like me: How to Turn off Your Danged Gas.
* I REALLY need to get emergency documents and paperwork together. I keep telling myself that this is the next item on the To-Do list, but it is just so boring I keep not doing it. I even picked up a fire-proof box to keep paperwork in and flash drives to hold digital copies (one for the fire box and one for the backpack), but I have yet to actually do anything besides compile the dogs’ vaccination records and throw them in a pile.
* I should probably move my emergency backpack to my bedroom closet, or at least consolidate items into one location. Since emergencies don’t happen at convenient times, and you don’t get a warning of: “Hey, in like an hour we’re going to have a major earthquake, so why don’t you put your dogs’ leashes on them and find some shoes?” it is best to make the necessities idiot-proof. I have a high level of idoicy in the middle of the night, and if this morning I had found that I had a gas leak and structural damage, I’m not sure I could have successfully organized myself to get the things I needed from the different corners of my house. On that note, I should probably also pick up a couple of spare dog harnesses so that I can keep a second set with the other emergency supplies.
* I need to think through evacuation procedures in more detail, and even though it might feel ridiculous, run myself and the animals through a drill of some kind. Not barefoot at 3 in the morning, mind you, but just a little practice of getting everyone harnessed and into the car so that I’d be ready if emergency workers showed up at MY door and told me to get out.
So those are my new goals for emergency prep. I’ll try to hold myself accountable and report back on my progress!