Preparations for the Big One

Alamedans confess to varying states of preparedness when it comes to earthquake planning.


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Evangeline Fitzpatrick: We are 90 percent earthquake prepared. We have three bins in the backyard stuffed with camping gear, battery-powered lights, sleeping bags, extra medicine, quarters, tarps, canned food, and other sundries. Our water supply is in the garage. As a transplant from the relatively earthquake-free East Coast, I’m not completely sure where to go and what to do when a bigger earthquake than our recent one hits. I think my kids have more information than I do, but they get flustered.

Dave Hewitt: We keep some emergency supplies on hand in the garage and in the kitchen pantry that include a five-gallon water jug, camping stove and propane, first aid, nonperishable food stuffs, solar powered radio, and flashlight, clothing, and blankets. I also have a first-aid kit and blankets in the car. This is far short of what we should have on hand, I’m sure.

Millie Rourick: We have hurricane ties around our beamed ceilings in our attic space and around our foundation, and we keep plenty of water around the house. Maybe I should, but I don’t spend a lot of time in life worrying about things like earthquakes. I do what I think I need to do, and then I just live life. Life is too short to worry about what you can’t control.

Laura A. Crabb: We are mostly prepared. We have an earthquake kit that needs updated food. We just tossed food and water that was past expiration. The kit includes batteries, tents, flashlights, tarps, first-aid kit, etc. We maintain a supply of bottled water—four cases—and rotate as we go to the store. I think we’re in pretty good shape, but I’m glad you asked. It never hurts to be reminded.

John McCarthy: I’m probably better prepared than most as I am a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). I have water, food, backup fuel, an emergency generator with cords, wood for boarding up windows, first-aid kits, and camping gear. My wife and I even have emergency kits in our cars. We also have an out-of-state contact that we’ve agreed upon and have discussed our backup plans should we be separated in such a disaster. I don’t think most people can comprehend what would happen should we get seriously hit with a big one. It won’t be pretty.

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