On April 16th, 2015 Emergency Essentials participated in The Great Utah Shakeout with Be Ready Utah. This is a state-wide readiness program where Utah businesses and families practice their earthquake preparedness for “the big one.” Evacuation plans, communications strategies, pre-earthquake precautions, food and water storage and a dozen other areas of disaster preparedness are rehearsed. Most other states and a few countries have “Shake-outs” scheduled for October. Why Utah chooses April for our event is uncertain, but lucky for you, it let’s us preview for you how your family, office, city and state might participate. For our part, we set-up tents, creating a little camp to show what living might be like following a devastating earthquake. As luck would have it, we had our largest snowfall in four months the day before the Shake-out. While it made setting up tents and trudging across the open field a bit slushy, it also seemed quite appropriate, since Salt Lake City receives snowfall from October to May. Odds are good that, when that long-predicted “significant seismic event” occurs, we will have snow on the ground. In our ShakeOut camp, we set up three tents of various sizes, a canopy, and a little privacy shelter for a makeshift restroom—the type of evacuation encampment that will likely spring-up when homes have been rendered uninhabitable due to structure damage, flooding, fire, or natural gas leaks. As you can see, these tents weren’t just any ordinary weekend warrior, go-out-and-spend-a-day-observing-nature varieties. These were tents a whole family could live in – comfortably – protected from the elements and offering many of the comforts of home. Let’s take a stroll through our camp and look at all the ways we were able to prepare for this earth-shattering earthquake. Our first stop are the vehicles. Inside the trunks we had displayed emergency kits that fit nicely in the back with the rest of your gear. You never know when an emergency will happen or when your car will break down and you need some extra food and gear. Having an emergency kit in your car can be a real life saver! Next up we have the Twin Peaks Mountain Trails Tent and Portable Privacy Shelter. This tent is small, light, and great for short camping trips or an easy shelter to carry with you during an emergency or mandatory evacuation. It’s small enough to tote around and will fit about two people. When all else fails, you’ll be glad to have something like this for shelter. You’ll be glad to have a privacy shelter if you’re stuck camping with all the other people who had to evacuate. These shelters are easy to set up, and offers you privacy as a restroom (try our Tote-able Toilet!), a shower, or even just to change clothes in. Of course, these shelters are great for beach parties and camping, too. Emergencies just make us appreciate our privacy that much more. Next up we have the ridiculously amazing Barebones tent. These Barebones guys really know how to make a tent. They come in two sizes, the smaller Little Bighorn Tent (which will sleep 2 people) and the larger, camping-will-never-be-the-same Safari Outfitter Tent (sleeps 4-6). When I say these tents are amazing, I mean it just as much as when I talk about the new Star Wars trailer (and oh my word, that trailer is amazing!). People can actually live in these things. Well, I think I’d miss running water and some good, ol’ fashioned plumbing, but if I had to make do without, this would not be a sacrifice. These tents are built to last, too, so you really could live in one for quite some time if you had to. The ceiling on these thing go up to 9 feet high with a 28 degree pitch roof, which sheds snow like Chewbacca sheds fur. When we had our Barebones tent set up, the winds were raging, but these tents are built for harsh conditions, so it wasn’t even an issue. And when you’re packing up to go, don’t even worry about drying off the canvas or brushing off the snow. These guys just roll it and pack it up – still wet – and weeks later when it emerges from its cocoon, it smells fresh without a hint of mold. It’s incredible. Speaking of incredible… Let’s make our way to our last shelter we had set up – the GeoShelter. The GeoShelter is like the king of shelters. We had a good dozen or more people inside of one with three different conversations happening all at once – and there was still room to move around and nobody was in each other's way. In fact, there were even a couple kids playing around in the hammock. There were enough boxes sitting in the mesh loft to provide enough food to last three months. And with the stove inside of it, cooking that food wouldn’t be a problem, either. The workmanship of the stove is high quality, and the build of the dome itself is strong, durable, and will definitely hold its own against the elements. Oh, and did I mention they can join together? They can! You can connect multiple domes together, creating a little village if you wanted! Just think of the fun you can have during family reunions! Or, if your house becomes unlivable because of a disaster, at least you’ll have a big, roomy tent to live in. In fact, you might just decide to live in the tent indefinitely! Just think of all the money you’d save on rent or mortgage! Believe it or not, there is a point to all this besides talking about how amazing these shelters are. The point is, when disaster strikes, you can still be prepared to live well and take care of your family. I understand that some options might not be as viable as others, but there are still ways to prepare so that when a disaster does happen, you will be prepared. Start small and keep working up until you have what you and your family need to be safe and protected during emergencies. For more information on earthquakes and how you can be better prepared, visit beprepared.com/earthquake.
April 16th is the anniversary date of the big San Francisco earthquake.