Here in the Bay Area we are vulnerable to an array of possible disasters. When I think of emergency preparedness, I usually think of “the big one”. But the recent fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond is a reminder that there are more things than earthquakes we need to prepare for. Remember the 1991 Oakland hills fire?
Even if you already have an emergency kit, it needs to be updated from time to time. For instance, bottled water needs to be replaced every six months. Are your emergency foods nearing their expiration dates? What is the shelf life of your battery supply? Does your emergency plan need updating?
Whether you already have an emergency kit or you need to create one, the FEMA website is a valuable resource, and they have a webpage dedicated to additional considerations for people with disabilities.
But don’t stop there. Earthquake Country also has an excellent, clear, easy to follow guide to preparing for earthquakes that can be read online or downloaded and printed. It’s also available in Spanish. It’s the best resource specifically for earthquake preparedness I’ve seen anywhere.
It’s also a good idea to find out what services and procedures your local community has established, such as their emergency notification system, shelter locations, and plans for people with disabilities during disasters.