Personal: March 2008 Archives

The Chronicle ran a story today about how the “Next big quake could be worse than 1906”, based on new predictions from seismologists and quake loss experts:

“The next major earthquake on the Hayward Fault - inevitable anytime now, experts say - will be the Bay Area’s own Hurricane Katrina, affecting more than 5 million people, causing losses to homes and businesses of at least $165 billion and total economic losses of more than $1.5 trillion, scientists warn. And that’s from ground shaking alone. If major fires break out - think 1906 in San Francisco - the total losses would be far higher, they said.”

B and I have been thinking a bit about earthquake safety, but we have some way to go. We’ve hit up our local earthquake safety guides (72 hours and Disaster Resistant Berkeley), and have the beginnings of a go bag ready, but we have some ways to go.

So far, we’ve prepped:

  • Store-bought first aid kit
  • Flashlight w/batteries
  • Battery-powered radio, w/batteries
  • Non-perishable food for each person, for three days
  • Scissors
  • Warm clothes
  • Hats
  • Hygiene products
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissue
  • Spare glasses
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper
  • Pen/pencils
  • 3 gallons of water per person
  • Rain gear

But per the safety guides, based on our needs, they still recommend:

  • Extra regular medication (replaced regularly)
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
  • Dust mask
  • Pocket knife
  • Extra keys
  • Phone card
  • Cash
  • Quarters for pay phones
  • Aspirin and anti-diarrheal meds
  • Bedding or sleeping bags
  • Blanket
  • Tape
  • Whistle
  • Copies of insurance and ID cards
  • Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise doing so
  • Written contact info for all family and family emergency contacts
  • Family plan for where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe.

Just looking at the list is depressing. Eye wash solution? No doubt I’d appreciate being able to wash out my eye when dust from my crumbling home gets in, but needing to put all this together makes me feel like a Y2K survivalist.


Anirvan Chatterjee is a San Francisco Bay Area tech geek and bibliophile.


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This page is a archive of entries in the Personal category from March 2008.

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