What is recommended for an earthquake preparedness kit?

Disaster preparedness moved back to the top of many people's minds in Washington state when a magnitude 4.6 earthquake struck northwest of Monroe early Friday.

While the quake did no damage, it was widely felt from the Canadian border to at least Olympia and east to Leavenworth.

Friday's earthquake was the largest to occur since the M6.8 Nisqually quake in February 2001.

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.

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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.


1 gallon per person per day


Non-perishable food with a long shelf-life

Consider products that do not require cooking

Food items you like to eat


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


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


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.

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