Editorial: Time to pack a bag

Preparing for potential disaster, including a devastating earthquake, isn't much fun, but it is important

Do you have what it takes?

And by that we mean, have you gathered the essentials needed to survive for the bare minimum 72 hours it will likely take for help to arrive, if and when the big one hits?

That means having water (minimum two litres per person, per day); enough food; a battery or crank-powered flashlight and radio; first aid kit; cash in small bills; prescriptions and emergency contact information, to name but a handful of the items that experts recommend we have on hand at all times — just in case.

And we would add that it’s not enough to simply possess these items — they should be kept together in one convenient place, to avoid a mad scramble in the aftermath of what could be a devastating earthquake.

Disaster preparedness is not something we like to think about — it’s up there with preparing a will or getting a regular physical. We know it’s something we should do, but somehow it just keeps getting put off in favour of more pleasant activities.

But we also know, deep down, that ignoring the potential danger doesn’t make it go away.

That’s why the City and Township are joining forces to remind citizens about the importance of emergency preparedness.

And they’re doing it in a way they hope will hit home with people — shake us out of our comfort zone, so to speak.

A Quake Cottage will be in the parking lot at Willowbrook Shopping Centre on May 7 and everyone is invited to drop by and take a ride.

For about 30 seconds, the building will shake with the force of an 8.0 event.

While the experience is intended to be fun, the underlying message remains a serious one.

We live in an earthquake zone, and we are long overdue for a major incident.

The more we can do to help ourselves in the short term, the better chance we all have of making it through should the worst come to pass.

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