Shak’n & Quake’n


A surprising number of first responders’ families are not personally prepared for when the “big one” hits.  If you and your family aren’t prepared, your head won’t be in the game when you have to report to work; you’ll be worrying about your family and their basic needs.







As a first responder, you are aware that public service agencies’ ability to respond after a major earthquake or other calamity will be overwhelmed.  We are reminded to have enough supplies to shelter in place, if that’s the directive, for at least three to four days.


You’ve seen the long list of things you “should have,” and there’s no question that that is in you and your families’ best interest.  For a really thorough list of what’s recommended or you want to buy an already prepared kit, check out the American Red Cross.



Here’s the (not ideal) Minimum Preparedness Kit you need…

  • 5 gallons water per person
  • Seven days’ worth of food per person (include a can opener)
  • Flashlight, radio, whistle
  • First aid kit with extra medications
  • Toilet paper, toiletries and feminine hygiene items
  • House and car keys, reading glasses
  • Warm clothes, blankets and a tarp for shelter
  • A waterproof list of important phone numbers


It may be days before sizeable quantities of food, water and shelter can be delivered to our city of 3,858,000 people.  Create an earthquake box for your home and be sure to outfit or purchase an emergency supply backpack for each car.


Check out the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Emergency Preparedness for a very helpful booklet on preparing for and surviving an earthquake and other disasters.  This guide points out the importance of having a family emergency plan that addresses what to do during, immediately after and in the aftermath of an earthquake.  As a first responder, it’s important that you talk to your family ahead of time about your public safety responsibilities and how having an emergency kit ready and a plan in place will help them be safe even when you aren’t around.  Finally, do what we do in the Department, conduct practice drills and address any concerns that arise.