Santa Monica, CA — Those recent Ridgecrest earthquakes were pretty darn powerful: 7.1 followed by thousands of aftershocks. The years of being reminded that Los Angeles is in the Hot Zone, and that we are way overdue for a major quake started me thinking about Earthquake Preparedness.
I have a hastily thrown together Earthquake Kit but where in the hell did I put that thing???
This story is about preparing for The Big One (or whichever likely Natural Disaster is heading your way!) and having food stored in one’s Earthquake Preparedness Kit that is not just dried and tasteless.
Good Food, indeed.
Now, where did I hide and/or conveniently misplace that box of important Earthquake Survival Food Stuffs? Ah yes, there it is stashed against the back wall of the closet crammed full of Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, luggage, and assorted boxes for appliances that I just can’t seem able to toss. In the aftermath of a disaster, it will be so easy to locate (sarcasm!).
Unearthing this box (pardon the pun) and discovering its contents is a snapshot of the ’90s which is most likely when I packed it: Rice Cakes (yuk!), Unfrosted Strawberry Pop-tarts (they don’t even make those anymore! Hope they are still good!), Generic Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mini-Cans of Pork ‘N Beans, canned Tuna (toss!), Saltine Crackers (to go with the Tuna, natch) and one package of D Batteries (but no flashlight). Love those Carbs!
Thank God I have opened this box and can now throw everything away (with the exception of the batteries and those Pop-tarts!)
Time. To. Start. Over.
Water, however, you most likely have not purchased Enough Water.
You have that emergency jar of Peanut Butter. So you are good for the first two hours of what could be a 2-week ordeal following The Big One.
Time to put some thought into What Are You Going To Eat Following An Earthquake?
There’s food in your freezer, to be sure. Hopefully, you will be able to access that food. In a best-case scenario, you will have 24-48 hours in which to grill whatever protein is frozen, so that’s two days covered. Your neighbors will be doing the same or relying on you to share, and vice versa. Keep that in mind.
Also, local restaurants with gas grills that work will most likely be serving up anything they can following a Big Quake.
Get extra water. Keep a flat of water in the trunk of your car. Do it. It’s easy.
Now comes the hard part: Stock up on food that will not only last but is also nutritional and not just junk. The Good News is most of these items are probably on sale right now at your local supermarket:
- Bagged Nuts in the Shell (like salted peanuts)
- Canned Fruit (pineapple slices, etc.)
- Dried Fruit
- Protein Bars (breakfast bars, etc.)
- Canned Beans (chili, black, navy, pork and) This means you will also need a Can Opener. Perhaps, put that Swiss Army Knife in your Earthquake Kit. (That’s more of a Note to Self.)
- Beefaroni (You loved it as a Kid. You will be surprised at how good it will taste when there is nothing else to eat. Also, it’s always on sale at Ralph’s for $1/can.)
So, that’s week one right there, however, a big Snag exists: Caffeine.
If you are like me, you NEED that cup (or two) of Hot Coffee every morning. In the event of an Earthquake, think about how you are going to get that caffeine. I get a headache if I don’t have my morning coffee.
Provided the gas has not been shut off, you can always switch to Hot Tea. However, that’s best case scenario. Most likely, the gas will be shut off along with the electricity. So, can you imagine boiling water on a grill just to make Hot Tea or instant coffee (yuck!)?
Get a Thermos.
Other Stuff to Have Handy and/or Reserved Specifically in Case of Earthquake:
- Toilet Paper (along with a bucket with a top that seals)
- First Aid Kit(s) that includes bandages, peroxide and antiseptic cream.
- Batteries (for flashlights, head lamps, radios)
- Portable Radio (I put my old Walkman in my Earthquake kit – batteries included)
- Head Lamp (the kind that attaches to the brim of a hat)
- Fire Extinguisher (You must know how to use it.)
- A Good Book (what novel will comfort you in a time of emergency and stress? Might I suggest The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings as you will need to really get away!)
- Tent and Sleeping Bag (I keep mine in the trunk of my car. Your home might become unsafe.)
Well, fingers are crossed that we are all as prepared as we can be when and if The Big One actually hits. Remember where you stash your Earthquake Kit. Buy extra Water.
Time to check on those old Pop-tarts!
N E X T U P:
Church Attendance Is Down. Surfing’s Popularity Is Up.