Do you have and emergency survival kit?

by: Web Staff Updated:

The New Yorker’s viral July article has a lot of people talking about emergency preparation. If an earthquake (or any other national disaster) strikes the Pacific Northwest, will you and your family be prepared?

As a rule of thumb for planning an emergency survival kit, remember that the federal government expects the public to be self-sufficient for 72 hours. In case of catastrophe (note: the “big one), help or rescue may not even arrive until then. Having basic supplies ready is key in this scenario.

The Red Cross generated a list of items that every household should include in their emergency kits.

>> See 15 must-haves for your emergency survival kit

The writer of the New Yorker article about  the "earthquake that will devastate Seattle" published a follow-up piece with advice on how to prepare for the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami.

Kathryn Schulz writes that she stands by the FEMA statement that "everything west of I-5 will be toast" as the official who said it anticipates the region will be in grave shape in the aftermath.

After Schulz's distressing story on the really big one went viral in mid-July, earthquake kits were flying off the shelves in the Northwest.

>> SLIDESHOW: Geologic illustrations explain the Cascadia subduction

As Seattle Emergency Management told KIRO 7 the city is prepared, local experts and Schulz alike say the best thing people can do is to have an emergency plan.

Here are nine ways residents can protect themselves, according to Schulz, with many of the items being simple, inexpensive or free:

  •    If you own a home anywhere west of the Cascade Mountains, bolt it to its foundation.
  •     Strap down your water heater.
  •     Redecorate your home with an eye to gravity.
  •     Make a plan with your family.    Get to know your neighbors, as they become de-facto first responders.
  •     Keep an earthquake kit in a safe, accessible spot in your home.


  •     If you live in the tsunami zone, know how to get out.
  •     If you are visiting the tsunami zone for the day, walk or drive the evacuation route before settling in.
  •     If you are an out-of-towner planning to spend the night in the tsunami zone: don’t.

Read about these tips in detail here.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a system, called AlertSeattle, that will warn citizens in real-time about earthquakes, floods, explosions, and other disasters. Read about it here.

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