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Earthquake Gratitudes Taught by a Pandemic

Jessica Lanning
August 2020

This year’s updating of the earthquake kit brought a new perspective on being prepared to shelter in place for a (previously) recommended 72 hours.  My first reaction?  “Ha!  I’ve been sheltering in place for months. Piece of cake!”  Then I thought it over:  While this pandemic threatens to fry my capacity for boredom, it could be worse.

My latest gratitudes:

Neighbors and friends.  I might have to stay six feet away from them and wear a mask, but I have them for support and socially distanced meet-ups.  They’re not dead, buried under rubble or searching for a lost loved one.  They’re home, safe and healthy.

Water, gas, and electricity.  I have plenty of all three.  I can boil water, fire up the oven, take showers and get adequate hydration.  In an earthquake (or fire danger), we might not have either for a long time.  California used to recommend having enough supplies for three days, but I notice now that they’ve raised it more than double, to seven. That can’t be a good sign. I added a couple more N95 masks.

Entertainment.  Electricity means I also have entertainment: television, Netflix, a light to do jigsaw puzzles and read by.  The only thing in my earthquake kit for amusement, besides a solar phone charger, is a deck of cards.  Of course it travels well, but one can only play cards for so long.

Delicious food.  While the supply chain is still a bit of a mess, I can get what I need at the grocery store and restock.  Just about everything in my earthquake kit is last-resort food that one only eats when one is desperate.  Spaghetti-O’s are somehow not as tasty as they used to be.  Sadly, yeast will likely be useless to me without an oven.

I typically enjoy geeking out on my earthquake kit updates and this year was particularly satisfying.  I had a project to pass the time with and a renewed appreciation for the not-so-little things.  If you need coaching on stocking your earthquake kit, please reach out.