Meet the Earthquake Lady



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — Being ready for an emergency takes a lot of work. But the more prepared you are, the better off you and your family will be.

  • Make an emergency plan Maralin Hoff, known as the "Earthquake Lady" because she gives so many demonstrations on emergency preparedness, says the first step is to make a family emergency plan. She says keep a contact number list in reach with the numbers of mom, dad, grandparents and other family members. Keep their cell phones and their work numbers handy. Also, assign an out-of-state emergency contact person for family members to call since it's likely you may not get through with local calls. But often when that is the case, you can get through with long-distance. Also, keep in mind that your phones may not work, but you could possibly get through by text. Also, Hoff says to have a spot outside where family members would meet. (Remember that schools will take care of students in case of an emergency during school hours.)
  • Grab emergency kits Next, you'll want to grab your emergency kits - one for each member of the family. Each person should have their own emergency backpack ready to grab and go. Here is a list of what an adult and child emergency kit should contain: Basic contents for children's emergency backpack

    1. 1 backpack, tote bag, duffel bag, or a small suitcase on wheels for easy transportation.
    2. Warm jacket, sweater, gloves and hat.
    3. 2 pair or more socks.
    4. Change of warm clothes. Sweatshirt, sweatpants, etc.
    5. Change of undergarments.
    6. Small blanket or emergency Mylar blanket. Purchase at any stores in the camping section.
    7. Flashlight and extra batteries.
    8. 1 blow whistle. Can be heard over a yell for help.

    Stress Relief Items: 1. Coloring book(s) and crayons.
    1. Writing pad/paper, pen/pencils.
      3. Reading book(s), pad games.
      4. Small stuffed animal for security.
    Zip-Lock Bag Items:

    1. 1 child-size emergency poncho.
    2. 1 or more hand/body warmer packets.
    3. Hand wipes or sanitizer gel.
    4. Pocket-size facial tissues.

    Basic contents for adult emergency backpack

    1. 1 backpack, tote bag, duffel bag, or a small suitcase on wheels for easy transportation.
    2. Warm jacket, sweater, gloves and hat.
    3. 2 pair or more socks.
    4. Change of warm clothes. Sweatshirt, Sweat pants, etc.
    5. Change of undergarments.
    6. Adult-size poncho.
    7. Emergency Mylar blanket.
    8. Flashlight and extra batteries.
    9. 1 blow whistle. Can be heard over a yell for help.
    10. Have plan for your medication.
    11. Supply of denture aid.
    12. Supply of extra hearing aid batteries.
    13. First aid kit, ointments, various size bandages, sterile alcohol pads/swabs, safety pins, shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, hand/body lotions, soap.
    14. Comb/brush, nail file, clippers, tweezers, mini sewing kit, etc.
    15. 1 or more hand/body warmers.
    16. Hand wipes or sanitizer gel.
    17. Pocket size facial tissues.
    18. Other special needs and personal hygiene.

    Stress Relief Items:

    1. Writing pad/paper, pen/pencils.
    2. Reading book(s).
    3. Pad games, crossword/search puzzles, playing cards.
    4. CD player and CDs, iPod music, etc.

Great Utah Shake Out (earthquake drill)
April 17
10:15 a.m.
To sign up, visit ShakeOut.org/Utah

Hoff also says to have a plan for your medication. And make sure you are not storing these emergency backpacks in the basement of your home. You want to store them on the main floor of the home, garage, storage shed, RV or camper/trailer for easy access.

Plus, you will need to update your emergency kits at least every six months. Most items have expiration dates, so rotate the items and even clothes sizes if necessary, especially in a growing child's emergency backpack.

For tips on preparing food and water for emergency use, go to page 2 in the story menu or click here.

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Tonya Papanikolas

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