The Big One: Be Prepared

The Portland Earthquake Survival Kit

We should prepare to spend at least one week off the grid. (Maybe six months.) Get ready for your most rustic staycation ever!

By Portland Monthly Magazine February 2, 2018

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Image: Shutterstock

For the responsible citizen

A 12- to 15-inch adjustable pipe or crescent wrench, for turning off water and gas (learn how: and

Work gloves and protective goggles

Add a whistle to your key chain—it could be a life saver if you're trapped in rubble

Extra batteries, multiple flashlights, light sticks

Comfortable, warm clothing, including extra socks, and rain gear such as a poncho

At least 14 servings of food per person (canned, dried, or other long-lasting foodstuffs)

Heavy-duty plastic bags (for waste and to serve as tarps) and Duct Tape

Copies of vital documents: birth certificates, insurance policies, wills, bank account info, etc.

Needed prescription drugs, plus over-the-counter pain-killers

Charcoal or propane for out-door cooking. A Bayou Classic 12-inch Double Jet Cooker from Lowes ($50) can be used in the meantime for camping. 

Deck of Cards? Harmonica? The Canterbury Tales? Something, for sure.

Cooking utensils and a manual can opener

Blankets and/or sleeping bags, perhaps a tent

Hand-cranked radio (Ambient Weather offers the Swiss army knife of am/fm/NOAA digital radios for $40)

A minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day, stored in five-gallon containers. Apartment dwellers might consider a Lifestraw personal water filter ($20). Home-dwellers with water heaters, say hello to your new drinking fountains. 

For the serious prepper

In a six-month scenario, five people would need at least 900 gallons of water. Thousand-gallon storage tanks can be had for $500.

If home and work are on opposite sides of the river, keep a small workplace or car kit.

Costco, Walmart, and the like sell a "one person, one year" food kit. 9,697 servings for around $1,500. Good for decades.

An incinerating toilet? Up to $3,000. Google it.

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