After two potent earthquakes struck within nine hours of each other on Wednesday, Vancouverites might be wondering what’s needed to properly prepare for an earthquake in Vancouver.
In fact, a survey found that less than half of Canadians have an emergency kit, but the chance of a big earthquake hitting Vancouver in the next 50 to 100 years is less a risk and more of a probability.
The “Big One” is expected to be anywhere from a seven to a nine or above in magnitude, striking in the Cascadia Subduction Zone or closer to home.
Vancouver could lose power and natural gas, bridges and roadways could collapse, and tens of thousands could be dead, with damage in the multi-billion dollar range. The scary truth is that this could be a reality at any given moment.
Are you prepared?
The most important thing you can do before an earthquake hits is preparing an emergency kit with enough to supplies to last at least 72 hours without normal access to food, water, transportation, heat, or electricity.
If you are part of the half of Canadians who don’t already have one, here is everything you need to stay safe after a quake:
43 things to put in your emergency kit:
- Water: At least two litres of water per person, per day. Therefore, a family of four should keep 20 litres of water on hand. That is at least one big jug of water, the size used in water coolers, plus two to three regular bottles of water
- Non-perishable food: Canned food, energy bars, dried fruit and vegetables – and enough of it to last three days (replace food and water once a year)
- Manual can-opener
- Crank or battery-powered flashlight with extra batteries (replace batteries once a year)
- Crank or battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- First aid kit with:
- sterilized gauze pads
- adhesive tape
- safety pins
- instant ice packs
- disposable non-latex gloves
- antiseptic wipes or soap
- pencil and paper
- pocket mask or face shield
- Extra keys to your house and car
- Cash in small bills and coins
- Contact information for relatives and neighbours
- Other personal items if needed, like:
- prescription medications
- infant formula
- equipment for people with disabilities
- food and water for pets
Other useful items for your emergency kit:
- Two extra litres of water per person, per day for cooking and cleaning
- Candles and matches or a lighter
- Footwear and clothing for each household member
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
- Hand sanitizer
- Garbage bags
- Toilet paper
- Water purifying tablets
- Basic tools like a hammer, wrench, screwdriver, work gloves, pocket knife, and a dust mask
- A whistle and/or flare
- Duct tape
- Photocopies of all important identification for each household member, including health card numbers
- A fire extinguisher
- Battery-powered GPS device
- Extra battery pack for cell phone and/or laptop