5 Tips to Protect Your Family – Being Ready for an Earthquake
I’m the type of person who prepares for everything. For our recent trip to Japan, where there have been so many earthquakes, I knew I wanted to be very prepared. It’s not easy to plan for such a trip, but getting stuck without any food or water for days in a strange place really is worrisome.
So, as our family began packing, I started planning for the worst “what if” situations I could imagine in an earthquake.
Before We Left
Before we left for our trip, we took steps to gather all important identification and documentation. There’s no way I was going to be lost in a foreign country without anyone knowing who I was! Here’s what we brought for documentation:
- Passports, driver’s licenses and birth certificates – all up to date (We also placed an extra copy of these in our luggage just in case we were separated.)
- All documentation for our travel insurance – take the documentation with you! I also suggest reading it before you go. Be sure to take your medical identification as well.
- Before leaving, we gathered our identification and airline ticket information. We also made sure we had our hotel confirmations printed and in hand.
- Family contact information to include the names of our friends watching our home and a go-to person who could help us if we had any problems.
- Cell phone numbers of family and friends. We ensured that our children had these too. We wanted to make sure the kids could get a hold of us and friends who were living locally.
- We also took the time to learn about the US embassy in Japan – where it is, what to do if we needed it and contact information for it.
Families Should Be Prepared!
After all of this, I also knew we needed to think about earthquakes and what we could do if something happened. Home survival kits were a good start so I bought one for the hotel, but there were still a few more preparations before I could be fully satisfied:
- We designated a place to meet outside of our hotel if there was an earthquake.
- We put some money aside to buy last minute tickets or other transportation out of the area if an emergency happened.
- Always know the evaluation plan for the hotel. The hotels there can be huge and easy to get lost in.
- Always carry some emergency food items and water on you during your sightseeing.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Talk to the locals if you need help and keep that cell phone charged.
Why Go Through All of This?
When it comes to preparing for the worst, it is a parent’s job to make it happen. Not only did I want my children to know this, I wanted them to see me put it into action. I like the Proverb, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” It’s a grim thought, but in a situation where an earthquake could strike at any time it is critical, and necessary, to plan:
- Don’t wait until the last second to plan.
- Always have a home survival kit for traveling.
- Invest the time in educating everyone in the group.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Know the layout of the city.
All of this planning pays off even if nothing happens. You are more at ease and ready for the unexpected. To me, peace of mind is worth all of this work, and more.
Duncan Morrison has been through a tornado, plane crash, and tsunami evacuation, not to mention over 40 years of bitter Canadian winters. He knows how to plan for a disaster. He also likes to provide quality information to readers by writing about emergency preparedness and auto survival kits. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out and walking his dog, Sammy – the best dog EVER.