Last night I was awoken but a loud noise and the bed having a good shake, just one really. I thought it was the dog having a bad dream, and had hit the bed (not unlike some videos posted to social media of dogs having bad dreams and hitting the wall…see the end of the blog for the video).
Anyhow, my friend texted me shortly thereafter and asked if I had felt ‘it’ too, whatever ‘it’ was. Through my sleep-heavy mind, it slowly dawned on me that the dog was fine and that the bang and shake (sounds like some sort of dance move) was likely an earthquake. Sure enough, this morning I read that the south coast had experienced a minor earthquake, about 4.3 on the Richter Scale, with the epicentre off of Vancouver Island. No surprise there either about the location, that is where the Juan de Fuca and Pacific plates are vying for power and when one of them gives, we’re in for a doozy.
Coincidentally, I just finished updating my emergency pack for my car two days ago, so thought it timely to share what you should put together for your emergency pack. Ideally, you should have one for the home and for the car (if you have a car, that is). I update mine about once per year, exchange out old toiletries for new ones, make sure the clothes are still sound. I have a spare set of clothes in my pack, nothing brand new, just some clothes I don’t use anymore but may come in use in an emergency. You just never know, I figure.
So for my kit, I’ve got the following:
First aid kit
Roll of toilet paper (people forget about this!)
Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush, deodorant, soap, hygiene items, laundry powder)
Clothes (reflective vest, shirt, sweater, socks, undergarments, scarf, hat, rain poncho…realized I am missing a pair of pants. Also, the clothes are a mix of cotton/polyester as particularly the polyester dries quickly…cotton just because it’s nice)
Water purification tablets
Canned food (tuna and soup…might as well make it tasty to your preferences)
Can opener (don’t forget the opener, so critical!)
Food-related utility items (Fork, knife, spoon, camping plate set, mug with leak-proof lid)
Camping lantern that can double as a small stove (with fire starter and additional candles)
Deck of cards (you may be bored!)
Survival cards (edible plants, edible mushrooms, wilderness survival)
Extra durable plastic bags (can double as sleeping bags or tarps in a pinch)
Everything is sealed in large ziplock bags, and then I’ve put it in a bright orange waterproof duffle bag so it’s easy to grab. The pack is always in the back of my car.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money on a new pack; it’s easy enough to start one with an old backpack or duffel bag, and start putting in all your extra stuff that you might want in an emergency. I’m still missing a wind-up radio, wind-up flashlight, some sort of battery power for my cell; the whole pack is a work in progress, as I tweak it with every annual update.
The other thing you should do is have a plan of who to contact out of province/state so that you can contact someone to let them know where you are and that you are safe (or not), and any loved ones in your area have the same contact, so that it is easy to have that single point of contact and communication. For example, for my parents and myself, our contact is my brother who lives in another province, and we know to contact him rather than each other.
At least I know that I’m relatively prepared for an earthquake, the zombpocalypse (zombie apocalypse), or getting stranded in the middle of nowhere due to a faulty GPS device.