72hrs After an Earthquake – The Real Story

While FEMA may say that the 72hrs after an earthquake is the amount of time you might be on your own. There is, however, one caveat – That is simply NOT a promise! How could it be? My business is run based on reality, as such I plan for what is most likely to occur. Our It’s a Breeze clients are the Bay Area business and economic leaders and in the event of a natural disaster, they will be leaders in the efforts to rebuild. We are here to make sure their basic needs are met in a disaster situation, with comfort, nourishment, communication and peace of mind. This is why I share this post with you now.

Just as true today as it ever was…
This is a re-post of a 2010 article from our sister website –

72hrs After an Earthquake or Disaster It Takes More Than 72hrs

Post disaster, I am struck again by how long recovery takes. For too long “72hrs after an earthquake” was used as the measurement of how soon help would come following a disaster (in our area) and thus it remains in our minds as 3 days of supplies is what will get you through. But today they’re saying it could take two years to get Pakistan stable after the colossal destruction by the floods; and it has been five years since Katrina (in 2010 when this article was written) and the levee breaks destroyed much of New Orleans and many wards are still ghost towns. So I have to think really? Only 72hrs?

The Reality that Follows the 72hrs After an Earthquake

A major earthquake in the Bay Area, when it comes, is going to knock down and cripple all of our infrastructure, for more than 72hrs. It could be months, even years, for life to return to normal. Not everyone will suffer so badly of course, but some will.

And I have to ask, when help comes where is it coming to? I would surmise that the big help and big supplies are going to be concentrated in the major population areas. The smaller municipalities will bear the brunt of helping their citizens. I live in Tiburon (I did at the time I wrote this article). We have a small, but dedicated, police and fire force. Except I have been told, they don’t live here. So after “the big one” we will have only the crew that is on duty at that time. I stopped thinking about being prepared for 72hrs a long time ago. It is a week or more. More!

So, a Public Service Announcement

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises, “If a disaster threatens your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you. But you need to be prepared as well. Local officials may be overwhelmed after a major disaster, and emergency response personnel may not be able to reach you right away. What you do to prepare can make a difference.

Most local relief organizations will take approximately three days (72 hours) to get back on their feet to be able to help you. An emergency kit is a big step in the right direction. Doing your part by having food, water, and supplies for three days will help alleviate the pressure on relief agencies as well as minimize your own discomfort.

Preparedness is everyone’s job. Not just government agencies, but all sectors of society–service providers, businesses, civic and volunteer groups, industry associations and neighborhood associations, as well as every individual citizen–should plan ahead for disasters.

The Wisdom of Being Prepared for a Natural Disaster

Being prepared for the unexpected is wise. It provides confidence knowing your family is better prepared to be safe and secure. Families who are prepared can reduce fear, inconvenience, and losses that surround a family crisis or a natural disaster.

There are many types of disasters: floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes, to name just a few. Government and Relief Agencies estimate that after a major disaster, it could take up to three days for relief workers to reach some areas. Longer in other areas.  In such a case, your emergency supplies could mean the difference between life and death. In other disasters affecting your family, these same supplies means the difference between having a miserable experience or one that’s like a pleasant family camp out. The decision is up to you.

For more information, please call Breeze Carlile, founder of Get TheSTASH, or visit our sister website: Get The STASH