Greetings from the earthquake capital of the U.S. of A.! …Or at least that’s how the news has been making it sound over the last 24 hours. As everybody knows by now, the East coast experienced a rather unusual occurrence yesterday, an earthquake! As it turns out, the epicenter of the quake was only 40(ish) miles from our house. Aside from a few fallen picture frames, some furniture moving a few inches (including the couch and the guest bed), and a Mr. Potato Head walking his way off the shelf in my office, all is well here at the house. Ashley, Bentley and I are fine, too, if a bit shaken – no pun intended.

Okay, okay. Ashley here. Greg’s totally the “cool, calm, and collected” type. I for one, was totally freaked out. I was home at the time and as the rumbling progressed, my thought process went a little like this: That’s some deep thunder… that’s not thunder… an explosion?… tornado?!… but it’s bright and sunny… wow, it’s loud… OH MY GOODNESS, WE’RE HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE!?! Bentley started barking like crazy – the rumbling was making his paws come up off the floor! I yanked him up and went to the hallway to wait it out (I now know you’re supposed to go under a door frame!). The eeriest part was hearing things fall throughout the house. It only lasted about 30 seconds, but at the time it seemed longer. So, yeah, that was my earthquake experience here at the house. I’ll shut up and let Greg finish his post now. Sorry.

After this experience, we realized that we’re relatively unprepared for emergency situations. Therefore, I figured now would be a good time to post about emergency preparedness in the home. So, no, this isn’t a “pretty post” as Ash would call it. However, being prepared for the unexpected is something really important for every home (no matter where you are) and hopefully this will help everyone (including ourselves) get organized and be prepared if the unexpected happens.

Since we moved in the house, we’ve been collecting supplies for an “Emergency Box”:

Here’s the breakdown of what we’ve collected so far:

  • 2 water filters
  • Weather radio
  • 4 masks (N59)
  • Compact camping cooking kit
  • 2 “wind up” flashlights
  • 3 thermal blankets
  • Battery Operated Lantern
  • Lighter
  • Manual Can Opener
  • Tooth brushes & toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Advil
  • 2 T-shirts (his & hers)
  • Deodorant (his & hers)
  • Eco-Balls (for washing clothes)
  • Shampoo
  • 3 months worth of freeze-dried/”just add water” food for two (in a different container)

We’ve got a good start, but it’s nowhere near complete. Here’s what we need to add:

  • Water (the CDC recommendation is 1 gallon per person for three weeks)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Scissors
  • Copies of important documents (proof of address, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc)
  • Cash
  • Sanitation products
  • Maps of the area
  • Pet supplies (extra collar, leash, food, and collapsable bowl)
  • Extra set of car keys & house keys
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Bleach
  • Duct tape
  • Blankets and/or sleeping bags

Sure, there is a lot more stuff you could add in there, and in this case, adding on is never a bad thing. Just make sure you cover all of the basics first (water, food, shelter, medical) and … Okay, let’s just start another list:

  • Make sure everyone in your family knows where your box is.
  • As you add things to the box, make sure you unwrap things like those ultra hard-to-open flashlights.
  • Make sure your stash is movable (break it up into separate containers or bags if it gets too heavy).
  • Clearly mark your “Emergency Box” so you don’t have to go searching for it if you need it quickly.
  • If you’re a geek like me (or has a husband that is one) and think the zombie uprising is coming, you might want to include thick clothing (good to stop bites) and a minor arsenal. That was sarcasm. Fact: the CDC actually has a Zombie Apocalypse Prepardness page (check it out here).

Do you have an “Emergency Box” in your house? Have anything to add to the list? Share it with us in the comments section…

Earthquake map found here, check out the CDC Preparedness Kit Checklist for more preparedness information.

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  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 2:02 am

    When you mentioned cell phone chargers, my first thought was ‘what if the power is out? So I thinkit could be a good idea to also carry a battery or solar powered charger as well.

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Mailbox Journey
    August 25, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I never want to experience an earthquake again! I live in Central, PA and we felt it here for a good 30 seconds. I was alone at the office & I thought the entire building was going to come down on me! (3 story brick building)

    Your emergency kit really, really gets me thinking. I’ll have to bring this up to the boy today – with all of the crazy weather we’ve been having, I think we need to get prepared. (I don’t think watching Jericho, The Walking Dead & Falling Skies TB shows every night helps either… lol)

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Mailbox Journey
    August 25, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Oops, I meant TV shows not TB shows 😛

  • Reply
    change of scenery
    August 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Great idea on the Emergency Box – way more accessible than a bomb shelter and a way to avoid going into panic mode should (God forbid) something bad happens. Made me putting making my own emergency box on the list of things to do!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Ha, I love that you mention the zombie thing! My hubby (also a geek) always talks about what we will do when the zombie apocalypse comes..of course, he’s joking (I think).

  • Reply
    Kim S.
    August 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    We do not have an emergency box at all. We live in Connecticut, and not much happens here. Some people in the area felt the earthquake, but we did not. Of course, weather seems to be getting crazier and crazier so I think I’ll get the husband on this. Thanks for the nudge to get prepared!

  • Reply
    Cait @ Hernando House
    August 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I’m glad you did a post on this! (And that you’re all ok, of course!) I’ve been thinking about doing a post on preparing for hurricanes (especially since so many people outside of Florida seem completely unconcerned). I’ll be sure to link back to you if/when that happens!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    It’s so smart of you to be prepared. I’ve been wanting to put together an emergency box for a while, but always end up procrastinating. Sometimes it takes a little kick in the pants to remind you not to let this kind of stuff slide!

  • Reply
    August 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I have a few things to add… a battery powered or wind up radio, rope, and extra meds prescription and otc. That’s just off the top of my head.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I’m in Charlotte, NC and some people here felt it! My husband and I are from FL and we have never created an emergency box here…we thought we were safe! Thank you for posting this because it’s a good reminder that ice storms, snow storms, earthquakes (!!), bad storms DO happen. We’ll be working on an emergency box ASAP.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    First off – so glad you are all okay, I’m sure it was scary! Second, just wanted to let you know I have lost hours this morning on your site!! Not sure how I originally found your blog, but I love it. Your blog design is awesome and well organized, your content is great, and I can’t wait to see more! I will definitely be adding you to my list of faves – keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Great post but don’t you mean 1 gallon of water per person per day? Oh & I hope the water filters are the kind that are meant to filter all the bacteria/spores etc. that would be present in ground water and not the type that’s meant to improve taste such as Brita.

  • Reply
    September 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Get ready store as many things as poss i have been doing for a while five gallon buckets with lids is the best way to go you can never b to prepared make sure when u buy food to check the date on it for exp i try to go for atleast 3-5 years flashlights cNDLES AND BATT NEVER HAVE TO MANY MED SUPPLIES GUNS BULLETS IF ANYTHING EVER HAPPENS PEOPLE WILL NOT B PREPARED AND WILL WANT YOURS AT ALL COST SO B QUITE ABOUT WHAT U HAVE.

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