Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to your bed shaking? Either you have a sibling who will go really far to prank you, you're sharing a bunk bed, or you live on the West Coast and there was just an earthquake.

Usually our earthquakes are not that serious (knock on wood), but just in case there is a San Andreas-type situation (that's what all the scientists are predicting, after all), here's what you can do to make sure you aren't completely unprepared after the big 'quake.



Csisouphanh on Flickr

Keep shoes next to your bed every night. Even if there is a small earthquake, everything falls off of your walls and shatters, so there is always broken glass. Having something to protect your feet will keep you from an expensive trip to the hospital.

Pack a bag

I have a bag my closet with everything I'll need if I have to evacuate my room and not go back for a few days. My bag has my change of contacts, a sweater, a flashlight, basic first aid supplies, and snacks. Basically keep anything you need to survive for a few days, because sometimes when there is a disaster it takes a few days for the Red Cross to show up.

Some ideas of what to keep in your bag: any medications you need to take daily, flashlight, money, important documents, first aid supplies, warm clothes, batteries, water, food that doesn't expire and doesn't need electricity to make, and a radio. If you want to be really prepared, keep a tent and sleeping bag too.

On a similar note, my family has a big box of everything we need to survive for about a two weeks in a disaster. It has canned food and a can opener, more serious first aid, duct tape, a water purifier, water, and clothes. We replace the food every year (and eat all the old food that is near its expiration date). 


Water is a really important thing to have access to, because it can easily get contaminated and you need to to survive. Come up with a plan on how to get fresh clean water.

In Your Room

Something stable: You need something to hide under during an earthquake. A table or counter that won't collapse if something heavy falls on it will protect you.

Don't have anything on the wall above your bed that would hurt if it fell on you. Yes, that print is beautiful, but that heavy frame it's in? That is going to give you a concussion in an earthquake.

I always clear a path to the door at night, no matter how messy my room is. That way if there is an earthquake or fire, I'll be able to get out as fast as I can without tripping on anything.

The worst thing you can do is not prepare because you feel like you won't be fully prepared. Even if you can only do a few of these things, it will be so much better than if you've done nothing to be prepared. 

To all you east coast kids who just came over here for college, please don't worry! The west coast has lots of fun things to make up for the threat of having the ground move out from under you at any moment.

water, grass, pasture
Meredith Grubb