If you live in Seattle, and you use any sort of social networking platform, you probably heard about or read the article in the New Yorker that talked about The Big One that will hit Seattle.

The big earthquake, that is.

When an authority cited in the article was asked about the damage we should expect, he stated that ‘everything west of I-5 will be toast’.

Toast? Ouch.

A lot of my fellow Seattleites took to their social networks with some seriously morbid humor. Faced with doom, what else can you do? Reading articles like this leaves one feeling helpless. I mean, toast? How are you supposed to prep for that? Because your prep work will allegedly be… toast. So why bother?

It turns out the chances of us being ‘toast’ is far slimmer than that article purports. It’s pretty likely you’ll survive but basic services would likely be unavailable, possibly for days if not longer. This is why we need to bother.

Until I read this article, putting together my disaster preparedness kit overwhelmed me. What kind of food would I want in an earthquake? Coconut water or plain? Should I buy MREs or soup? Cold soup? No way. What about nutrition bars? That’s not really food… shouldn’t I have something that would comfort me? Am I just making excuses to put chocolate in my kit? First aid kit… how many Band-Aids? Is Neosporin overdoing it? A pillow? ARGH!

After reading this article I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and get two prepacked kits; one for my partner and one for myself. I researched several different sources for kits and liked what I saw at Emergency Essentials. In addition to the basics it included items I wouldn’t have thought to buy; things like water purification tablets, a tiny radio, and a really cool gadget that’s 11 tools in one. I added more batteries, wet wipes, and Ibuprofen. It’s also given me inspiration to put a bigger kit together in the event The Big One happens when we’re at home.

Other things to consider for your kit:

• Medication
• Work Gloves
• Food and water for the pets
• A hand-crank radio that recharges a phone
• A deck of cards
• A favorite novel

Ultimately, it’s nice to know those kits are at the ready if we need them, but in truth, the real value hasn’t been the packs themselves. It’s given me back the peace of mind I lost when I read Kathryn Schultz’s scary seismic story and has been worth every cent. If you haven’t assembled your kit yet, Schultz’s story might be all the inspiration you need.

Alicia Diefenbach

My name is Alicia Diefenbach and I’m a Community Relations Specialist at Verity Credit Union.  I absolutely love my role at Verity!  I have the opportunity to explore the communities in which we’re located, reach out to organizations and individuals making these places dynamic, inviting places to live, and get involved with activities that support their well-being.

In my spare time I dote on my vegetable garden.  It still never ceases to amaze me that I can create my dinner out of dirt, some seeds, and cooperative weather.   I love my dog, Frank.  Also, I go to rock shows.  A whole lotta rock shows.

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