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These are the tools you need in the event of an earthquake, flood or wildfire




Photo: Olga Enger (Shutterstock)

Different regions of the United States are prone to different types of natural disasters. While you may already have a basic emergency kit on hand with food, water and a first aid kit, there are other tools you can – and should – invest in, depending on where you live and what kind of natural disaster is likely to strike near you.

Tools needed in the event of an earthquake

Major earthquakes in the United States mainly occur along the West Coast and can cause significant structural damage – including to facilities. If you live in an earthquake-prone area and may need to shut off water or gas lines, a shutoff tool is a must for your emergency kit. If you don’t have one of those, a large adjustable wrench can work in a pinch. This will fit different sizes of locking points, and can come in handy even if the handles are broken.

Another important thing to have on hand is a fire extinguisher. Falling power lines and major gas ruptures can cause fires – even a small shortfall in local electrical service can start a fire. Be prepared with a modern and fully charged fire extinguisher. For a more compact option, you can also keep an aerosol mist sprayer on hand.

Other tools you should always have on hand are pliers, a good knife and scissors, all of which are very versatile in an emergency. And last on the list is the light source: most authorities recommend a lantern or flashlight with plenty of batteries, but to free your hands, you can add a good headlight to your list as well. This will come in handy if the power is out and you need to navigate through the damage to your home.

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Tools needed in case of floods

Floods can be a problem in almost any climate zone where heavy rains and bodies of water fall. It can also be a local problem if a major water rupture occurs. First of all, a flood emergency kit should be waterproof so you don’t damage your tools and supplies, so a waterproof bag is recommended to keep batteries and small items safe, and you can use a dry bag to help keep a larger emergency in place. Safe supply.

A flood alarm is another good investment if you live in an area where flooding is common – it detects rising water levels in your basement or ground floor so you know early on that flooding is occurring. These come in wired and battery-operated models and can also be found in smart items that send an alert to your phone. Note that if utilities fail, cell phone service and power may be interrupted. If you’re in a flood-prone area, it’s a good idea to invest in a good battery-powered model so it will work in the event of a natural disaster. Of course, it is also important to keep a high-quality waterproof flashlight.

The tools to have in the event of a forest fire

Major wildfires are becoming more common on the West Coast of the United States, and they can cause evacuations, toxic air, and of course they can burn homes. In most wildfire situations, the most urgent need is to evacuate quickly, but if you have time, you may be able to do a few things to protect your home. If you are in an area where ash and sparks can explode in your garden and on your roof, using a very long garden hose to irrigate the area and your roof is a common safety measure. Clearing your garden of overgrowth and tall grass or dead leaves can also help prevent damage in some cases.

Having an extra furnace or HVAC smoke-rated filters (higher than MERV 10) is a smart way to prepare for bushfire season. Furnace filters can quickly become clogged with ash and soot, so keep a spare before disaster strikes and every hardware store in town sells out.

It is also good to have a “travel bag” ready. You can get fire retardant bags to protect your equipment and important documents, and they are also good in case there is a house fire. If you need to travel in thick smoke, a good respirator with the right cartridge is a big help. A P100 or N95 respirator can help protect your lungs from exposure to smoke and soot. It’s a good idea to have a few of these items on hand in case of emergency so you don’t deplete the supply of safety equipment available to emergency workers during a disaster.





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