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Emergency Prep Checklist: How Prepared Are You?

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Two more earthquakes rattled southeastern Idaho on Tuesday afternoon, this time they were 4.3 and 3.0 magnitude, and happened closer to the Bear Lake area.

This marks almost 80 temblors that shook that region since Saturday night.

Although geologists are not sure when it could happen, they suspect a bigger quake could hit that very region at some point, since it rests along the same fault line as the 7.3 earthquake that struck back in 1959.

With everybody talking about the recent quake clusters and the deadly Hurricane Harvey that devastated one of the largest cities in the United States, there has been a lot of discussion about the importance of being prepared for any emergency to keep you and your family safe.

"This week we already saw one guy come in, buying tons of freeze-dried food," Sportsman's Warehouse manager Tate Murdock said before explaining the best items to have in a 72-hour kit.

"Take a minute and think about what you would do if you lost your power, if you lost your running water, and if your home was no longer structurally safe. Are you prepared? Is this something you could handle? Could you still keep your family warm and safe and fed?" he added.

He said, start with a sturdy backpack. Key word: backpack.

"One of the big things I see, is that people try to stuff everything into a duffel bag. The problem is, you need an arm to carry it. You can't carry a duffel bag like a backpack."

Bannock County Emergency Services Coordinator Captain Kevin Fonnesbeck said there are four basic essentials every 72 hour kit needs: food and water supply, tools and batteries, hygiene products, and a family-sized first-aid kit.

"We don't want to instill fear in people, but the reality is, if you talk to any of your local stores, it would only take three days before things are cleared off their shelves," Fonnesbeck said. 

He said, this would happen anytime the roads were impassible and supplies would not have any way of getting into the community.

In an earthquake situation, he said it would take about a six magnitude quake before any serious damage is done to structures, roads, and bridges.

Both Fonnesbeck and Murdock advised, along with your basic kit essentials, it's a good idea to have a backup generator, a water purifier, and both a proper rain jacket paired with a solid sweatshirt with extra jeans.

As far as what you should do if an earthquake strikes, Fonnesbeck said the first thing to do is to get out from under anything that could fall - get under a solid structure such as a wooden table or under your bed. The safest structural area in most homes are in the doorway. 

He said, make sure your cabinets and chests are securely fastened to the walls ahead of time, along with water heaters that don't have flexible connectors.

Also, if you have china cabinets, make sure the heaviest items are at the bottom.

If you're driving during an earthquake, Fonnesbeck said to safely pull over to the side of the road and wait it out.

If you're enjoying the outdoors, look up, and make sure you're nowhere near any falling rocks.

All in all, he said, it's important people formulate an emergency plan with their family members, and be sure to practice regularly.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit the Bannock County website's emergency guide here: https://www.bannockcounty.us/BannockOEM/EarthquakeGuide.html


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