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A Quick-Start Guide to Household Preparedness

At a minimum, put these in a bag attached to your bed:

  • Pair of shoes
  • Flashlight
  • Printed copy of your preparedness plan

You may also want to include:

  • Crowbar (to help escape in case of jammed doors)
  • Warm jacket
  • Thick gloves
  • Critical medication
  • Other things that you may absolutely need in the hours after escaping from a home to which you may not be able to return

Stock bottled water and know how to treat tap water that might be temporarily contaminated.

Fill a portable container (or two) with all you need to survive for up to two weeks:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Battery radio and flashlight with spare batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Medications
  • Sleeping bags
  • Special items for infants or the elderly.

Pack a smaller version in your car.

Store a supply of water in plastic—a gallon per person per day.

Think of camping out, with survival in mind:

  • Tent
  • Camp stove and heater
  • Lantern and spare propane
  • Sturdy boots & thick socks
  • Rain gear
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunglasses

For added comfort, safety, and sanitation:

  • Personal hygiene items
  • Portable toilet
  • Plain household bleach
  • Plastic garbage bags

Don’t forget to stash some cash.

Imagine a sudden home emergency—a fire. Could you escape fast?

Find two ways out of every room and write them down. That’s the beginning of a plan.

Pick two places to meet: just outside your home, and outside your neighborhood.

Choose an out-of-state contact person, and give every family member that number.

All adults should know how to shut off gas, electricity, and water service. House valves for water are usually outside at the foundation.

If your home is inhabitable after a quake, but water and power systems are still in repair, remember you can safely drain water directly from your home water heater.

Leave the curb cock at the meter for EBMUD to operate, and do not turn gas back on yourself: call PG&E.

Mark the calendar every six months to refresh supplies, update phones, and review your disaster plan.

Coordinate your school and work emergency plans with your own.

Teach children to dial 911; practice fire drills twice a year.

Make sure your pets have ID tags, and select a vet, shelter, or another family’s home. Emergency shelters can’t take animals.

Plan ahead and be prepared to survive on your own for several days.

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