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How to prepare a disaster supply kit


How to prepare a disaster supply kit

By Liesl Nielsen, | Posted - Mar. 21, 2020 at 12:03 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The 5.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Utah on Wednesday is just what Bob Carey's been hoping for.

The quake was the largest the Beehive State has experienced in nearly 30 years, but it was a moderate-sized one, said Carey, the response and recovery bureau chief for the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

While it’s big enough to remind Utahns they live in earthquake country, it’s not going to kill anyone or cause too much damage, he said.

"This was not the big one. This is a wake-up call," Keith Koper, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Station, agreed.

“The big one” is coming, and it’s time everyone in the state of Utah started making preparations, he warned.

If you want to learn more about how to prepare for and survive an earthquake,’s got you covered.

But one of the most important ways to be ready for an earthquake is to have shoes or hard-bottomed slippers, a flashlight, and personal and household disaster kits ready by your bedside.

So, here’s a quick list with suggestions from Be Ready Utah to get you started on those disaster kits:

Personal disaster kit

Each member of your family should have their own disaster kit, so feel free to personalize them and keep them in an easy-to-reach place. Consider using a backpack or other small bag to carry the items:

  • Medications with a list of prescriptions, copies of medical insurance cards, doctors’ names and contact information
  • Medical consent forms for children under 18 or other dependents
  • First aid kit and handbook
  • Spare glasses, personal hygiene supplies and shoes
  • Bottled water
  • Emergency whistle
  • Personal ID
  • Cash
  • List of emergency contact phone numbers
  • Snack foods with lots of calories
  • Light sticks, a flashlight with extra batteries and light bulbs or any other emergency lighting
  • Comfort items, like your child’s favorite stuffed animal, games, coloring supplies, a journal etc.

Household disaster kit

Things like electrical systems, transportation, and water and gas services may be disrupted for several days in the event of an earthquake. Hospitals and first responders will also likely be overwhelmed.

Make sure your family is safe by keeping your household disaster kit in an easily accessible location. This kit should be in a large, portable watertight container and should hold a three- to five-day supply of the following:

  • A minimum of 1 gallon of drinking water for each person in your family per day
  • First aid supplies, medications, as well as essential hygiene items like soap, toilet paper and toothpaste
  • Emergency lighting — like light sticks or flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Hand-cranked or battery-operated radio (with extra batteries)
  • Canned and packaged food and cooking utensils, including a manual can opener
  • Clothes and items that will protect you from the weather, like coats, jackets, shoes, extra socks, blankets and even a tent, if possible
  • Plastic bags you can use for trash, tarps and rain ponchos
  • Work gloves and protective goggles
  • Pet food and other things your pets might need, like leashes
  • Copies of important documents like insurance policies and personal ID

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