Earthquakes can happen any time, anywhere. Thirty years ago tomorrow, a 5.3-magnitude quake rattled people in upstate New York – not what you might think of when you think “earthquake country.” Here, we KNOW we are in quake country, so there’s no excuse not to have at least a little disaster preparedness happening in your home.
That’s the premise behind what we’re doing all month – Washington State Disaster Preparedness Month – here on WSB, with the help of Cindi Barker from West Seattle Be Prepared: Putting together a “go bag.” Today is Day 5 of adding an item a day – but don’t be put off if you’re just getting going – you can catch up in a big hurry OR go start at day 1 and take it from there. Here’s Cindi’s item du jour –
Today we’ll start storing water. Set aside 2 gallons of water per person. You can store tap water in cleaned one litre soda bottles, in which case you would store 4 litres per person. Here is a good guide on how to clean soda bottles and label them for the tap water – go here.
Otherwise, you can just buy the gallon containers at the grocery store.
Advance hint: If you don’t want to drag the collection of water out, fill a total of 7 gallons (14 litres) for each person today and you’ll be completely done with the water needed for your kit. The Red Cross does recommend a bigger stash than I’m suggesting right now, they suggest having a 3-day supply for evacuation and a 2-week supply for home. So if you have lots of room (a 4 person family would have 68 gallons of water to stash!), go for it. But I’m taking a more achievable path and suggesting you store one week’s worth per person, and if you have to evacuate, grab the 3 gallons you would need for those first 3 days. You’re right, it won’t all fit in the kit; start thinking about a place where you can store the kit and the water together. When we get to the end, we’ll talk about the best place to store all this.
Next item, tomorrow – again, don’t feel overwhelmed, do what you can, when you can – the “item a day” plan is intended to be a manageable way to get you from unprepared to somewhat prepared! Catch up by seeing the stories in the WSB “preparedness” archive.