Emergency Stuff
(photo via PreparedBC)

We live in interesting times.

Obviously, I could say that with pure sarcasm, each syllable of the word “in-ter-es-ting” oozing sweat drops of concentrated nihilistic coca-crapola. We more accurately live in a time of waking nightmares.

But at the same time, we do have a far better understanding of the challenges around us than ever before.

No longer do we combat the ravages of plagues with draining of our humours, or battle wildfires by sacrificing goats.

Well, unless you belong to certain internet groups, I guess. But my point is: when I say “we live in interesting times,” I really do mean that I, personally, have taken a greater interest in what dangers are around me and how to deal with them.

That includes coming to grips that I live in a city which will one day be obliterated by the rage of the planet shifting beneath our feet.

Yeah, if you didn’t know already, Victoria is in a pretty serious earthquake zone. How serious? Like jell-o left sitting on a trampoline set to a thumping bassline from Daft Punk serious.

But it’s not even the odd shake-and-bake (slang for the post-earthquake toke to calm us down) that really worries me. It’s the so-called “megathrust” quake which is, in geological terms, set to happen any day now.

That promised quake, caused by the Juan de Fuca plate pushing under the North America continental plate, is expected to decimate BC’s capital city. Most of our older buildings – and yeah, there are a lot of them – are expected to crumble completely. Some newer structures are said to be built to better codes and standards (knock on wood, literally) and should fare better.

It might not happen before I die. But this possibility does loom in the background, out of sight but definitely not out of mind.

So, because I am INTERESTED in this, I’ve set about trying to put together an earthquake kit.

The Province of BC has an extensive list on this:

  • Non-perishable food: minimum three-day to one-week supply, with a manual can opener
  • Water: four litres per person, per day for drinking and sanitation
  • Phone charger, battery bank or inverter
  • Zunes – in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, the Zune will make a comeback
  • First-aid kit
  • Second-aid kit (includes portable fainting couch, snuff box, soothing recordings of Morgan Freeman reading “The Secret”)
  • Personal toiletries and items, such as an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
  • Cash in small bills
  • Bottlecaps (that’s for the Fallout fans)
  • Help/OK Sign (PDF): Display the appropriate side outward in your window during a disaster.
  • John 3:16 Sign

OK, I might have made some of those up. But I’m willing to bet at least some of you aren’t sure which ones, and that’s why you have to take this seriously!

For water alone, the government says you need four litres per person PER DAY, and you should have supplies to last at least three days, and more likely up to a week. That means we could be talking about as much as 28 litres.

That’s like storing one-and-a-half water cooler jugs. And personally, I want to spring for the added-value quake kit and get a portable place to poop, too. 

This could be tricky in my teeny-tiner apartment for storage, but, well, if you’re gonna make me choose between drinking or pooping, I might have to go with pooping.

In general though, I can’t help but be a little alarmed at being the opposite of a boy scout: unprepared.

But…yeah. That mega-doom-GWAR-fest-killah-quake is still a thing, and I’m feeling pretty exposed at present. In body as well as in mind.

So what’s the takeaway from all of this?

I think you should absolutely be INTERESTED, that’s for sure. You should take an interest in the world around you, come to a better understanding of the challenges that surround the world, and try to confront them as best you can.

You’re not going to be able to take them all on. And I don’t think you’re expected to. But you should at least try to be informed. That’s not being scared. That’s being prepared.

For sure you should check out the gov’s list on earthquake kits (a list which can be found here, by the way), but also take it as a springboard for preparedness at large. 

Does that literally mean lugging around a water cooler’s worth of precious agua fresca at all times?

Eh, maybe not.

But it sure is interesting to think about.

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