Candy and wine??? Are you kidding me??? What do these items have to do with disaster supplies, you ask? Why would anyone ever think of such unnecessary items for their quake kit?
I was surprised to learn that items like candy and wine are considered creature comforts. That's according to the American Red Cross. Other folks might "have to have" their cocoa, their Mountain Dew, their Skittles, or their Pretzels.
For me, it's red licorice, Red Vines. A big plastic tub of them to eat by the handfuls! For my co-anchor Carlos Amezcua it's Oreo Cookies. For my fiancé it's his coffee. For my mom, it's dark chocolate.
The idea of creature comforts came from our disaster experts interviewed for our series on Cali getting ready for the "Big One." We all know we live in quake country. We've all heard the "Big One" will happen one day. We've all been told we should have a quake kit. But how many of us have thought about life days or a week into a disaster?
Admittedly, the concept of creature comforts is lower on the list, after necessities. First and foremost, in your quake kit you'll want water. Then non-perishable food(if canned food buy with pull tabs, or have a can opener), a flashlight, batteries, a gas wrench, rope, duct tape, medicines, a radio, etc. etc. (Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety www.earthquakecountry.org)
In the wake of a disaster, the creature comforts can make your life that much more comfortable. My Red Cross expert put it to me this way. "Would you rather be with or without?" I vote with. For example, let's say you have to evacuate to a shelter or sleep outside after an earthquake. Your own sleeping bag might make temporary life a tad more comfortable. When the Northridge Earthquake hit our Stage Manager, Gene O'Neill, says his family slept in the backyard. I'm thinking a sleeping bag or blanked would come in handy. I grabbed a small one from Target and keep in the garage. You'll want an extra set of clothes and sturdy shoes. I've set aside some old running shoes that normally would have gone to Goodwill and a pair of sweats.
Disaster experts insist, (www.earthquakecountry.org/alliance) if services are down we could "be without" for three days up to two weeks. Ask yourself what you would do if power and water were out and you had no dishwasher? Paper plates, cups, utensils will come in handy. Don't forget toilet paper, plastic garbage bags, and hand wipes. Just throw this all in a big plastic bin for easy grab and go. I went to the dollar store for a lot of these things so it really didn't cost a lot. The Red Cross guessed you could build a supply bin for $100 and you could buy stuff over time.
Ok. Sounds like I'm covered, looking at my check list. Next, a few items for my dogs.(see our Pet Quake Prep stories on Myfoxla.com) If you have kids don't forget about them too. For creature comforts you might want some entertainment should you have idle time. Let's say you're able to stay at your home, but schools are closed and you're just waiting things out. I threw in an old Trivial Pursuit game. Our expert, Mark Stapf, from the American Red Cross suggested books, games, and puzzles for the kids. The idea is you want to get a sense of normality as soon as possible. Items of comfort during tough times can be a source for some relief.
While I'm not much of a wine drinker I do love my candy. In my quake kit you'll find two bags of peanut M&M's. The challenge now is to not raid the stash on a night when I simply have a candy craving!