July 9, 2012

7.0 and my earthquake survival kit

Last week in Wellington (and for parts of New Zealand) we experienced a 7.0 earthquake.

A 7.0.

And? All is mostly fine, save for a few damages that have been reported (last I read, about 200 claims were put through due to the earthquake but were considered minor damages.) What's surprising and amazing to me is that we experienced a 7.0, and aside from a long shake with a few jolts, no major damages or destruction. Never in my mind could an earthquake of this size end and have little physical impact - we are extremely lucky, grateful and thankful. It hit very deep, over 200km below the ground and it occurred in the water, not far from us, but far and deep enough that we were not affected. For some, I'm sure mentally, this has been terrifying. I'm scared, but in a mindset where I want to be prepared.

When we moved to San Francisco and lived on top of the San Andreas fault, I remember being scared and felt threatened that an earthquake could happen. I was partly scared because of the unknown and worried about what it would feel like. I slept with shoes under my bed just in case in the middle of the night I'd have to find safety and I knew shoes would help protect my feet. 

Then when we moved to New Zealand just days after a major quake in Christchurch, I was nervous because I worried about a small country with little resources and wondered how they could survive, and of course wondered how Christchurch folks were managing. And then the fear about the "big one" that could hit us in Wellington anytime.

I've read that 7.0's can happen every 1-3 years and that it's helpful for the earth to release the tension, which helps reduce the strength of the next "big one". It's scary and I try to focus on what I'm thankful for rather than worry about the unknown. I focus on what I'll do to protect myself. I think about how we have been extremely lucky to experience this size, and to then be safe - to not have any damage to our water, power, or threat of tsunami, and in light of this, I hope to build a better earthquake survival kit.

 Here's what we need:
  • Flashlight (we have a wind-up torch, no batteries required!)
  • Water for drinking, and more for washing and personal care
  • Non-perishable food (granola bars, peanut butter crackers, canned foods, dried food)
  • Gas stove top with gas (need to get this!!)
  • Can opener
  • Cat food (we have two kitties!)
  • Blankets
  • Jackets
  • Clothes (pants, top, socks, shoes)
  • Radio (need to get this!!!)

And I still need to determine our evacuation route, specifically if Kev and I are separated, how will we meet up if we can't reach other via phone. Lots to think about, but mostly, I'm just thankful we are safe. What about you... any tips for a survival kit? Have you experienced an earthquake before?


  1. I'm glad that there was no major damage or injuries after the 7.0! I've been meaning to get an earthquake kit together for quite some time now - you've motivated me to focus on this over the next week or so.

  2. I'm glad that there was no major damage and that you guys are okay. In Fiji it wasn't so much earthquakes but tsunamis that were the real problem. My family is lucky that our family home is very high up, and my siblings all go to schools which are evacuation sites, same for my parents offices, but the university (where I taught)was right by the water. I didn't give it too much thought though - nothing as well prepared as you. I do hope you get those items on your list - better to be safe.

    PS thank you so much for leaving such a sweet comment on my blog :) Maybe when I come to visit in October I can stopover in Wellington and see you too :)


So glad you wandered by!