Living through a massive earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area was no joke. Like many major catastrophes that have happened world wide since 1989, it was scary, confusing, alarming, and beyond comprehension when it happened. Many times, I often wonder if we, the average person living in the Bay Area, are prepared if it happened today…right now….right this very minute.
Think about it realistically and plan for the worst case scenario. You could be driving, working, at home, at the gym, at a park, or at your friends house. I will never forget what happened that evening in 1989 and the fact that I was literally cut off from finding out where my brother was in San Francisco and couldn’t reach anyone in any way.
Here’s what you need to have on you today. If you’re at home and your home collapses but you are able to live, you have to plan as if you’re living and surviving in ruble. It’s dark and you can’t even make out which floor of your home was the first floor or the second floor. You will need in an earthquake backpack: a flashlight, a fairly large bottle of water, scissors, a pocket knife or survival knife, a flat head screwdriver, a small but sturdy shovel, chewing gum, any medicine that you may have to take in an emergency such as allergy pills, asthma medicine, etc, a magnifying glass, and a first aid kit.
Keep this in a backpack marked earthquake so that no one ever touches it. Many people during the 1989 San Francisco Earthquake were mobile so you also have to plan for that. Your car should have similar items to the ones above but also always have a blanket, a jacket, a pair of running/walking shoes, light gloves, Clif Bars or your favorite health nutrition bars. You must plan for the worst. Plan as if you were working down in San Jose, the earthquake hit and you are on the 880 freeway stranded having to get back home to Antioch. What if there was no way to make it to Antioch except for walking/hiking and you couldn’t reach anyone at all? This is the plan that you must think of when preparing for an earthquake of this magnitude.
Here’s the television highlights on ABC News from the 1989 San Francisco Loma Prieta Earthquake: