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The DKS List

DKS Earthquake Preparedness

Comora Tolliver commented on this link and sent some important Earthquake stuff... well worth considering.

"I am forwarding this message in view of the 7.2 we were lucky enough NOT to experience too heavily here in LA. Be prepared. OK first Haiti... then Chile... now Mexico. And this is probably the last time I'm sending this out. If you've gotten this already and are tired of it...that makes two of us! But because of this afternoon's 7.2 in our sleepy giant to the South, I've been asked to reprise this email.If you look at the news, you'll notice a spike in looting, pandemonium and general terror in the aftermath of that quake. So why not ramp it down at home...Why? Because I am selfish. i know that the more people who are safe, the more I am safe. Having trained as a civilian emergency responder with the LA Fire Department and the American Red Cross, here's a list of what I've learned that is important for sustaining a sense of sanity and safety after an earthquake... or any big emergency, actually."

But it boils down to a few essential things:

1 - You need to have more water than you think. No, it's not because you're thirsty but because you need to keep clean so you won't get infections, and you might even need to cook up a pound of rice, which will keep you alive a long ass time. 15 gallons per, really. Hell, I've got 60 gallons, and I'm barely home (Yeah, you're coming to my house right?) If all hell breaks loose, water is the #1 commodity

2 - You need to have more batteries than you think, and one flashlight per person (all the same batteries make life simpler), plus one flashlight in the car.

3 - Work gloves - they don't have to be fancy, but they need to be leather, NOT cloth, because if you end up working a fire, cloth burns faster. Your hands are the most valuable tools you own...protect them. A gash or burn across the palms will quickly render you useless. If you think there's a fire in the other room, feel the door with The Back Of Your Hand! before entering!

4 - A crowbar in your bedroom to get you out of your bedroom. A crowbar in your kitchen to get you into your bedroom...or anyone else's!

5 - You need to learn exactly HOW TO:

  • shut off your water
  • shut off your gas
  • shut off your electricity
  • work a fire extinguisher (aim it at the BASE of the fire, NOT the flames and use sweeping motion to kill a fire)
  • put together an out-of-state contact number for the family to communicate - long distance lines are up sooner than local lines, and cell lines will probably be down all together.
  • administer emergency first aid & CPR. (You'll always hear of people dying from heart attacks right after the earthquake. Do youreally want to watch someone die just because you didn't know what the hell to do?)

OK, here are the basics: HOME:

  • minimum of 15 gallons of water per person (don't forget pets - a gallon a day)
  • first aid kit - and learn first aid and CPR!!!
  • work gloves
  • heavy shoes - extra pair in your car for walking home when the roads are blocked
  • 2 crowbars
  • canned food for one week
  • can opener (non electric)
  • $100 in singles
  • $20 in quarters
  • one flashlight per person - 2-D cell (or higher number of Dcells)
  • 20 D-cell batteries... or more - not less
  • 1 box of strike anywhere matches
  • 1 camp stove
  • 3 canisters of camp stove fuel
  • 1 pipe wrench for shutting off your gas line (& restoring it)
  • 1 week supply of pet food
  • 1 deck of cards for keeping children out of your hair
  • 1 phone that plugs into your wall and requires NO batteries
  • 1 portable radio and/or TV plus 3 set of batteries for it
  • 10 candles (make sure there is no gas leak BEFORE ever using them)
  • extra medications
  • minimum of 1 roll of duct tape
  • 1 whistle per person (so people can hear you if you're trapped)
  • 1 roll of plastic sheeting for instant repair to broken windows
  • photos of family - to help emergency services locate them

CAR: (put this in a knapsack)

  • 1 gallon of water
  • snacks - granola bars or trail mix are simplest
  • heavy walking shoes/boots
  • work gloves
  • $50 in singles
  • 1 first aid kit
  • one 2-D (or higher) flashlight
  • 4 extra 2-D batteries
  • map of your area
  • pad and pen - to leave a note of your whereabouts and route taken
  • extra socks
  • portable radio
  • 1 whistle
  • 2 disposable foil sleeping bags (AKA "space blanket")
  • photos of family


  • 1 flashlight and extra set of batteries
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 pair of heavy shoes for walking home
  • 1 pair of work gloves
  • snacks
  • 1 first aid kit
  • extra medications
  • $10 in change (pay phones are the first phones to go back on-line after an emergency - use one to call out of state contact)
  • 1 crowbar
  • 1 whistle


  • 1 flashlight and extra set of batteries
  • 1 bottle of water
  • 1 pair of work gloves
  • 1 snack
  • photos of family - to keep calm
  • $5 in change
  • 1 disposable tfoil sleeping bag ("space blanket")

I know this can all sound daunting, maybe even crazy, but all this stuffs going to cost a lot more if you don't have it. Peace of mind and a sense of preparedness can save your life and the lives of others around you.

Comora wrote: "Thanks, it's always good to be prepared, I'm going to look for a study I found and email it to you. It has a different take on what you should do in a major earthquake.."

I hope that this info can help if the "the big one" ever hits. I always thought to hide under a desk, interesting, but not wise it turns out?  The next part is very important to read!!


My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.

I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries.

I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary, and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to hide under something.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the "triangle of life". The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the "triangles" you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.


1) Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward, you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways, you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different "moment of frequency" (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads – horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible - It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Spread the word and save someone's life... The Entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared! "We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly"

In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did "duck and cover," and ten mannequins I used in my "triangle of life" survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.

There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the "You." This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA, Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.

Before an Earthquake


Learn First Aid


Create and practice your emergency plan.


Establish family reunion points.


Identify an out-of-region contact person who can serve as a message center. After an  earthquake, local telephone lines may not work but long-distance may still function.


Know where, when and how to turn off all utilities such as the main gas valve, circuit breaker, and water main. Teach other family members as well.


Strap your home hot-water heater. If done properly, strapping can prevent your heater from falling and causing a fire and/or losing its valuable water supply.


Secure all tall and heavy furniture. Move heavy objects to lower shelves.


Check smoke detector & fire extinguisher. Check smoke detector batteries once a month and change the batteries every six months. Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires and easily accessible.


"DROP, COVER & HOLD" Drill. Have an earthquake drill at your home and at work.


Have a comprehensive Emergency Kit for home, and each vehicle. 


Rotate water & food supplies every six months to ensure quality.

During an Earthquake


  • DROP below the level of the furniture around you. Get under a desk or table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets and other objects that could fall.
  • COVER your head with your hands and stay that way until the shaking stops.
  • HOLD onto the desk or table; if it moves, move with it. HOLD YOUR POSITION- do NOT get up; do NOT run.


  • Move to a clear area away from trees, signs or buildings.
  • Remember: DROP, COVER and HOLD.

In A Vehicle

  • Reduce speed – do not slam on the brakes. Pull over to the side of the road. Keep away from bridges, overpasses, buildings, trees and other potential hazards.
  • Stay in your vehicle until all shaking stops. Make sure there are no power lines down. Tune your radio (in Seattle) to KIRO AM 710 for emergency broadcasts.
After an Earthquake


  • Move to a safe outside area away from buildings, trees and overhead wires. Think through the consequences of any action you take. Try to remain calm and reassure others.
  • Check for injuries to your family and neighbors. Render first aid if you can.
  • If you’re away from home, plan to stay wherever you are for at least 5 to 6 hours. Bridges and roads must be inspected for safety.
  • Be prepared for after-shocks. They may cause weakened buildings to collapse.
  • Check for damaged utilities:
Inspect building for leaky gas lines by smell only. DO NOT use candles, matches or other open flames, and DO NOT turn lights on and off. If you smell gas, open all windows and doors so the gas can escape, and shut off the main valve at your gas meter. Leave your home immediately and do not re-enter the house until repairs are made and it is safe. DO NOT turn gas back on yourself. Wait for the utility company crews.
  • If water pipes are broken, shut off the main valve which brings water into the house.
  • Check on and gather together your emergency supplies, such as a portable radio, flashlight, fresh batteries, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, food, bottled water, cooking equipment, etc. Don’t forget to wear heavy shoes in all areas near debris or broken glass.
  • If water is off, emergency water may be obtained from water heaters, melted ice cubes and canned vegetables.
  • If power is off, check your freezer and plan meals to use up foods which will spoil quickly.
  • Use outdoor broilers or camp stoves for emergency cooking. But remember that this type of cooking equipment creates a potentially fatal carbon monoxide hazard and must be used outside.
  • If water is off, emergency water may be obtained from water heaters, melted ice cubes and canned vegetables.
  • Clean up spills of dangerous chemicals or flammable liquids. Another option is to open windows and doors and mark the hazards clearly.
  • DO NOT use your telephone except for a genuine emergency call. Anticipate that your phone will not work for some time.
  • DO NOT flush toilets if you suspect sewage line to be broken.
  • DO NOT touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed wires.
  • DO NOT spread rumors. They can cause great harm in a disaster.
  • DO NOT go sightseeing! Keep streets clear for passage of emergency vehicles.
  • Please cooperate fully with public safety officials.
  • Listen to the radio (in Seattle, KIRO AM 710) for instructions from local authorities.
Having emergency supplies on hand is a great way to prepare for the unexpected.  Here are some ideas for what to place in your kit.

Emergency Kit Checklist


First-aid kit


Flashlight & extra batteries


Fire extinguisher


Sturdy shoes (You may need to walk over broken glass).


Battery operated AM/FM radio with weather channel & extra batteries


Three gallons of water per person (three day supply).


Chlorine bleach (for disinfecting contaminated water).


Non-perishable food needing little or no preparation (three day supply).


Extra medications, eyeglasses, copies of prescriptions.


Evaporated milk, canned juice, etc.


Manual can opener.


Outdoor clothing. (rain poncho, wool socks, warm clothes).


Emergency blankets, sleeping bags.


Pocket knife.


Paper plates, cups and plastic eating utensils.


Personal hygiene items. Toilet tissue, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, soap.


Pre-moistened toweletts.


Money, especially coins or prepaid calling cards (pay telephones are usually the first system restored).


Cash. It may be hard to get for a few days.


Paper and pencils or pens.


Canned camp heat for cooking, or other emergency fuel (barbecue charcoal).


Rope, tape & trash bags. These versatile items will come in handy.


Waterproof matches, emergency candles, and snap light sticks.


Games, entertainment.


Food and water for pets.
Modify the above list and include the following items in your Emergency Car Kit


Emergency Flares.


Inflate a tire.


Jumper cables.


Snow chains.

Gall Darn It we had 10 years left 5 years ago?
Darn It