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Rob, you seem to be making sport of those of us who keep a two-week supply of tuna in the house. But basic emergency preparation isn’t just for fruitcakes. You are living on a major fault line. It’s common sense to keep a week’s supply of canned goods, a two-week supply of water and water purification tablets in your home. You should also have a flashlight and batteries. You should have a first-aid kit, too, and you should know how to perform basic first aid.
You should also know what to do if there’s an earthquake — drop, cover, hold — and you should have a plan worked out with your family for making contact in case phone coverage goes down. (Drop, cover, hold is the right advice for a lot of unpleasant unforeseen events, such as bomb blasts.) It is a serious mistake to assume you don’t need to worry about disaster planning because FEMA’s just so obviously on top of things. You don’t need me to persuade you of this, do you?
By the way, did you know I have an alter-ego as a campaigner for better earthquake preparation here in Istanbul? (If you follow that last link, be prepared to cry with frustration–if you like kids and want them to live, that is.)
Here’s me demonstrating what you should do if the ground starts shaking. On the left: correct technique. On the right: Wrong! Don’t just sit there.
Disasters do happen. My family was in Port-au-Prince on January 12. Here’s my account of what that was like and here’s my brother’s. They were pretty happy to have enough food and water to last a week in their house.