Sunday, March 1, 2015

Our family home evening on earthquake preparedness

I didn't find this nifty little chart until afterward. It's got some good tips so I'm including it here. Click on it to see full size. 

Tonight we had a family home evening about preparing for an earthquake. 

We live in northern Utah, and it's common knowledge that a sizable earthquake has been predicted for a long time. Besides that, prophesies talk about various natural disasters happening before the Savior's Second Coming. So as part of our preparations, we wanted to review earthquake preparedness. 

It was pretty simple. Here's what we did. 

1) Made sure each person has a shoe box under his or her bed with shoes and a working flashlight. 

2) Reviewed what to do during an earthquake. "Drop, cover, and hold on." Crouch down next to an inner wall or a low piece of furniture, or under a sturdy desk or table and hold onto the table legs. If possible grab a nearby pillow or something else to shield from falling glass or wall hangings. We talked about scenarios in bedrooms and in our kitchen/family room area. 

3) Reviewed what to do after an earthquake. Call to make sure everyone in the house is safe. Go outside to our meeting spot while a parent assesses damage. If there are issues like water or fire, take these precautions: 

4) Turn off gas. My husband showed us how to do this with a special tool.

5) Turn off water. My husband taught us two places we can turn off the water to the whole house. 

6) Turn off power. We practiced doing this. It was the easiest thing to turn off and on. 

7) Within the last year we did a drill using a rope ladder from an upstairs bedroom and meeting at our family meeting place, so we didn't do this again. You can see pictures of that here. 

Because I don't have the best memory, I took notes on the instructions of turning these things off. I'm going to laminate the instructions and wire attach it to the special tool that turns stuff off, both kept in a special place. Here is my sticky note that I wrote down directions as Mike taught us what to do.  

After I typed up the directions I realized the tool already has directions about turning off gas. That's okay, because my instructions include more details about turning off more things. 

We decided to keep these shut-off tools in a drawer right next to the garage door. We have a spare, which came with a strap to attach it to the gas meter which we may do.  

We bore our testimonies to our children that following the Spirit and praying for protection are real and they make a difference. I don't feel fear or panic. I just feel an urgency to get as prepared as we can be.  

Tomorrow night we're having a family work project in the basement. 

If there were an earthquake, we live in an area with high water table and we wouldn't want our camping and preparedness gear to be flooded in our unfinished basement. So we decided to: 
  • Move some of that gear to our missionary son's bedroom upstairs since it's not being used right now anyway. This includes our emergency kits. 
  • We're also gathering some used buckets to put our non-food storage in like soaps, tooth products, feminine products, school supplies, and so on. 
  • A friend of mine posted an idea to attach strips of orange construction barrier webbing or something else to her storage shelves to keep things from falling off in an earthquake. Looking at the glass bottles and such on my shelves I think that's a great idea. 
  • I also wonder if it's a good investment to put childproof locks on cupboards that have breakable dishes like stoneware or glass. 
  • I'm considering bolting bookcases to walls. We've already done this to our water heater. 
This is a pic taken of our family work project. This was me checking to make sure we had snow pants and sun hats for each family member. 


Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you! Great post! Great ideas!
-Lisa Jackson

Melissa said...

Great ideas, thanks!!