The holidays are upon us. Are you ready?
Of course when we ask that, we mean earthquake ready. The holidays are a time when friends and family get together, so why not turn one of your gatherings into a holiday potluck for earthquake preparedness.
Every year at this time we meet for holiday parties and gatherings. Here is an opportunity to turn your holiday potluck into something really special. Instead of asking friends to bring Aunt Bessie’s Figgie pudding, ask your friends to bring over a single component of a personal earthquake kit. Everyone can share in the effort and cost and everyone takes home a completed earthquake kit.
Radios cost more than whistles, so group cheaper items together to even the load on your guests. As host, maybe you can add a special treat like fancy chocolates, or a solar charger. You can also include earthquake prep items like bookcase straps or gas line wrenches. Your guests may even think of things that had not occurred to you, so be ready to add to the list as people get inspired.
Here is a step by step guide to planning a holiday prepper potluck for 20 people:
Step 1: Everyone will need a bag to put their earthquake supplies in. Either purchase 20 backpacks or rucksacks at someplace like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Out of the Closet, or ask each guest to bring their own backpack.
Step 3: Provide fabric and glitter pens for guests to decorate their go-bags. Consider a Bedazzler.
Step 4: Ask your guests to sign up to bring the items on the list below. Then provide the food and drink for everyone to share. Depending on the size of the party you may include food and drink signups too.
- 20 bungee cords: Bungees to attach your bag to under your bed.
- 20 pairs of socks: An emergency change of socks belongs in every kit.
- 20 flashlights: Safer than candles. Be sure to include batteries.
- 20 pairs of work gloves: Protect your hands when digging through rubble.
- 2 people bring 10 Transistor radios each: to tune in emergency broadcasts & get news. Don’t forget the batteries!
- 4 people bring 5 Solar/crank/battery chargers each: To power Smart phones and rechargeable batteries.
- 20 sets of pens and pads of paper: For leaving notes of your whereabouts .
- 20 pairs of protective goggles: They make navigating dusty or smoky areas easier.
- 20 emergency whistles: Let rescuers know where you are.
- 20 dust masks/bandanas cause nobody wants to breathe in building dust after an earthquake.
- 2 people bring 10 large bottles of water as starter water each: Ultimately each person will need a gallon per person per day, but you’re not going to carry that in your go-bag. You need that quantity of water in your stay-at-home earthquake kit. See what Ready.gov says about water.
- 20 chocolate bars: a tasty high calorie snack
- 20 energy bars: a more wholesome alternative snack.
- 20 portable first aid kits: See Red Cross Anatomy of a First Aid Kit.
- 20 bookcase securing straps: Designed to secure tall furniture to the wall.
- 2 people bring 10 Headlamps each: Camping style headlamps make for a great hands-free light source. Remember the batteries too.
Step 5: Arrange all the emergency supplies in a circle, and have your guest form a line and go around the room adding each item to their go-bag. Hand out emergency wallet cards once they are done.
Step 6: Offer your guest the fabric and glitter pens to decorate their go-bags.
Step 7: Once everyone has packed their go-bags, settle down with a slice of pizza and a beer or soda, and engage your guests in a games and conversations about earthquake preparation. Play a round of preparedness bingo. Offer a cool emergency item like a solar backpack or solar powered radio to the winner.
Step 8: Ask everyone to write down what they would add to their go-bag to personalize it. Comfy shoes? Earplugs? Starbucks coffee in a can? You’ll be surprised at some people’s ideas ; they could be things you never knew you wanted until your friend mentioned it. Give a prize for the most original go-bag addition.
Have everyone take turns saying where they will put their grab-&-go bag. If they don’t say “under my bed” then show them why we think a personal quake kit belongs under the bed.
Everyone in California needs a personal emergency kit or grab-and-go bag. A holiday prepper potluck is a wonderful gift to give to your friends and love ones. Have a crafty evening together, and then everyone will be that much more earthquake ready.