As everyone may remember, the earthquake back in Dec. 2015 that struck the Metro Vancouver area was quite a shocking (excuse the pun!) experience, especially for me. This was the first time I had experienced an earthquake in my life. The 10-15 seconds of shaking were a moment of terror that I will never forget.
According to the United States Geology Survey (USGS) website, the earthquake was measured at Magnitude 4.8, at a focal depth of 52.5km deep NNE of Victoria, Canada (www.earthquake.usgs.gov). If that’s too scientific for you, what the numbers mean is that the earthquake was significant, as it was measured a Magnitude 4.8 (significant shaking felt throughout the Metro Vancouver area) on the Richter Scale. The Richter Scale is a measurement of the intensity of an earthquake based on a logarithmic scale. What that means is that every increase in magnitude is an increase in intensity by a factor of ten. The focal depth refers to how deep below the surface where the earthquake occurred. The lower the distance, the greater the shaking/impact.
This event made me realize how vulnerable Metro Vancouver is to natural disasters. Experts believe that British Columbia is not only susceptible to a major earthquake, but that one is long overdue.
It's best to have an emergency preparedness kit on hand (or at least in a close location to your person) is the best way to be prepared for any unexpected occurrences, whether from a punctured tire or a sudden earthquake. You never know.....
I highly recommend bringing multiple copies of essential identification and insurance on laminated paper and on a USB stick. Similarly, a portable USB charger will be essential to keep your phone charged in an emergency. A phone without power is just a useless brick. Remember, all smartphones contain an emergency mode that can conserve power. Keep in mind that these will serve as lifelines to your friends and family, but also remember that local phones lines will be down. Internet service may be available, so utilize social media to contact loved ones. Keep your messages short and to the point.
I try to modify my emergency kits to suit where I am going. For instance, I try to include an extra set of clothes, jumper cables, and a toolbox in my car because of the extra space. For my own daily kit, I keep emergency water rations and some emergency food rations on hand. (Ignore the machete... Lol, you never know.. A zombie apocalypse could happen anytime).
Remember to always check your kits from time to time. This will ensure that food and water are not expired and emergency supplies are functioning properly. You don't want to have expired food and water or emergency supplies that don't work during an emergency. Whatever the case, build your kit around the principles of Food, Water, Energy, and Shelter.