Building an emergency disaster kit can be easy and cheap, here's how

Disaster preparedness moved back to the top of many people's minds in Washington state earlier this year when a tsunami watch went into effect for the entire West Coast in the wake of a magnitude 7.9 earthquake near Alaska.

The alerts were canceled as more information and analysis allowed scientists to better define the threat; but the scare is a reminder of Washington's own fault line.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a fault that sits along the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and two plates colliding could eventually slip, triggering a massive earthquake that could shake the northwest. The CSZ has produced magnitude 9.0 or greater earthquakes in the past, and undoubtedly will in the future, according to Pacific Northwest Siesmic Network.

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Emergency management leaders encourage individuals and families to have a plan in the event of a disaster. People should prepare to survive on their own for seven to 10 days. Here's King County Department of Emergency Management's how to make an emergency kit on a budget for individuals and families.

Scroll down to keep reading.

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Individuals

Take the time to think about your daily activities. What do you need to do to ensure that you are able to recover from a disaster that disrupts your life? Do you have pets? Below are basics for a checklist.

Water

1 gallon per person per day

Food

Non-perishable food with a long shelf-life

Consider products that do not require cooking

Food items you like to eat

Electronics

Light-sources that are battery powered or hand-cranked

Portable radio and extra batteries (a great way to stay informed)

Have alternate means to charge electronics, such as your phone or computer

Clothing

At least one extra pair of warm clothing

Rainproof outer clothing and boots to keep you dry

Comfortable, sturdy shoes in case you need to walk long distances

First Aid kit

Basic items, such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, scissors, tweezers, and pain-relief medication

Prescriptions and personal medical equipment

Click here for a PDF that you can download listing emergency kit items.

Family:

In addition to the checklist above, it is important for your family to discuss how to contact one another, reunite, and respond during different situations. A good family emergency plan should include:

A home meeting spot

An out-of-area contact

Public safety phone numbers for your area (police, fire, hospital)

Reunification location, if you can’t make it to your home

Each family member should keep personal and emergency phone numbers in a safe place, such as your wallet or emergency kit. They should also know alternative methods for contacting each other if phone lines are down, and for traveling to your reunification location. Deciding these details in advance will help make you calmer during a disaster.

Click here for a PDF that you can download listing family emergency kit items.

Related headlines to the ‘big one’

DOWNLOAD THE KIRO 7 NEWS APP HERE