Viewpoint - September 8, 2010

Letter: Scout's advice: be prepared for a quake

As a Boy Scout, I have just completed my emergency preparedness merit badge.

I am writing to remind people that they need to be prepared in case of an emergency. The most important thing to have is an earthquake kit. A complete earthquake kit is expensive, but it can be constructed in stages.

The most important components are food and water. You should have enough for each person in your family for three days. You should also have one gallon of water per person per day for three days. Don't forget about pets, too. You can buy dehydrated food at REI and the Redwood Trading Post. A stove or other heating device is nice, but not a necessity.

Other important items include a flashlight with extra batteries and a chemical toilet. The toilet can be very expensive, but you can make your own with a bucket, garbage bags, and cat litter. Also, you should have some form of shelter. If you don't already have a tent, you can buy one at almost any camping store.

October is National Preparedness Month. For more information, you can attend one of the many upcoming local events highlighted in an Aug. 20 article of the Palo Alto Weekly, or check out the Emergency Preparedness Boy Scout Merit Badge Book from the Santa Clara County Library System.

Although these kits can be costly and time consuming to build, we all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

A.J. Connell, Sharon Road, Menlo Park


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