How to Prepare for Disasters like the Virginia Earthquake

Unless you live in a well-insulated cave, far away from the Mid-Atlantic states, then no doubt you heard that there was a pretty substantial earthquake in Virginia today. Virginia?!?  That’s on the opposite end of the U.S. from the San Andreas fault. I’m sure no one there was busy preparing for this disaster. Yet, catastrophic events like today seem to be happening more and more often throughout the world.

Husbands are charged with all kinds of duties to take care of their families. From keeping the grass an 1-1/2 inch tall, to killing spiders and laying the smack down on the neighborhood bully. But what about the real crises, like Virginia’s 5.8 magnitude quake? What does the family provider and protector do to keep his family safe during an event like this?

While any Californian has the contents of a disaster preparedness kit memorized like the state capitals song, many an Easterner is left scratching their heads, asking “what kind of kit?” as they’re seized by another aftershock.

Are you prepared for the worst?

So, husbands, here’s yet another opportunity to be Family Hero and Saver of the Day. Put together a disaster preparedness kit for emergencies like the Virginia earthquake. No, your kit will not prevent earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, fires and PMS from happening, but it will give you a substantial leg up in dealing with the disaster.

Here’s what you’ll need.

First Aid Kit with ample bandages, gauze, thermometer, antibiotic ointment, over-the-counter pain reliever, antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and other medicines used by any family member on a daily basis.

Food canned meats, vegetables, dried fruits, anything that’s ready to eat without refrigeration. Don’t forget food for pets and family members with special dietary needs.

Water stored in plastic bottles, one gallon per person (and pet) per day. You should change out your store of water every six months.

Flashlight with enough batteries to last for a week.

Sanitation Items such as paper towels, toilet paper, women’s sanitary supplies, garbage bags and disinfectant, such as household bleach.

Clothing several days’ worth for each family member, as well as bedding.

Radio also with a week’s worth of batteries.

Copies of Important Documents This includes bank account and credit card numbers, phone numbers, insurance policies and wills.

In addition to your disaster preparedness kit, which most victims of the Virginia earthquake probably didn’t have, develop a plan of action in case of an emergency. Create and practice an evacuation procedure with your family. Walk through your home noting anything that might hinder your timely escape. And talk to your wife and children about being prepared and staying calm during emergencies.

With all that you have on your plate, some of these suggestions may seem over-the-top. But you can never be too prepared when it comes to keeping your family safe.

Click here for more detailed instructions for creating your own disaster preparedness kit and emergency plans.


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About the Author: Angela is an award winning humor columnist, freelance writer and public speaker living in Middle Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She uses her keen insight and clever wit to help husbands understand the complex mechanisms that are their wives. “I like to think of as an owner’s manual for the average wife. Of course results may vary, but we’re all fairly similar whether we admit it or not.” Angela uses her background in psychology, the myriad of learning experiences offered through her ten year marriage, and input from her “in the trenches” audience members across the country as input for her articles.

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