Good to Know…Emergency Preparedness

OK, we have some momentum behind us now with this blog. Thanks to all for your positive and encouraging feedback via email. In my announcement, I mentioned there will be useful and helpful information to most of you on this blog.

Introducing topic #3…Good to Know.

Emergency Preparedness

I have lived in the Bay Area my whole life and felt many earthquakes. I was at the 1989 World Series at Candlestick Park when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. I still remember the sound of the ground rumbling, the way the upper-deck undulated like a wave, and the silence when everything went still. I remember the tortuous and scary drive home on 280 that took 5 hours instead of the usual hour. In spite of the danger and damage, we did not educate ourselves on "preparedness".

The attacks of 9/11/2001 and the fear afterwards, only prompted me to buy a cell phone so that I could be in constant contact with my new husband should any disaster strike. We had a camping box with a propane stove, canned foods, flashlight, etc. that we felt was sufficient should an emergency arise.

A few years later, we had a baby. It was then, that I really started to think about being prepared and what that means. What are we preparing for? What do we need? Where should we go? Although it was on my mind, I did nothing to answer my questions or ready my family. Then I noticed these billboards around town.

These were provocative. They made me imagine being separated from my child during an emergency. It scared me into action. I visited, a site and service provided by the U.S. Government. You will find checklists for supplies and kits, a Family Emergency Plan, and a Pet Preparedness Toolkit.

I also went to , a San Francisco/Bay Area initiative for emergency preparedness. I actually prefer this site to because it's better designed and extremely informative. Here is a pdf of the entire site. Print it. Read it. Use it.

Please, please take the time to navigate these links and prepare your family! The supply list seems long. You'll think you will never have the time to put a home survival kit or a go-bag together, but you can. is almost a one stop shopping solution. I'm sure there are hardware stores or sporting good stores that sell assembled survival kits if you don't want to pay for shipping.

Once you get the basic go-bag and survival kit together, go through it to familiarize yourself with the contents. Add any additional items necessary for your family. I kitted out our to go bag with headlamps, work gloves and these packets, which include a whistle, family pictures, and a print out of our emergency plan, for each family member. The "dog tags" might be over the top I realize, but it was fun to do.


Don't forget to photocopy those important documents; passports, birth & marriage certificates, medical records, eye glass prescription, etc. Consider a portable hard drive to back up your photos, music, and any important information. Also, don't overlook disaster and emergency kits in your car and office.

Role play with your child about what to do if there is an emergency…try not to freak them out though. Teach them how to use 911. Make sure they know their parents' names, their home address and phone numbers.

You might think I'm overzealous, but I know from experience, when you are evacuating your house at 4am because of a fire, it's worth having a plan and a go-bag ready and accessible.

I would love to hear any ideas or tips you have about emergency preparedness. Please feel free to post here!

Hope this was helpful and Good to Know.

Get to it!