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6 things you didn’t know you needed in case of a natural disaster

Emergency services may not be available after a major event. It's up to you and your household to care for yourselves until help arrives.

SACRAMENTO, California — Wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, flooding, and even tsunamis are natural disaster risks we all face as Californians. Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that come with facing a major disaster. 

ABC10 spoke with FEMA and the California Office of Emergency Services to gather some insight into top things you may be forgetting.  

FEMA said you should be ready to evacuate your home and take refuge in public shelters. They also said it's helpful to know how to care for your basic medical needs. Aside from the emergency kit you should have in your home or car -- but probably don’t -- there are a few other important tips that can keep your family safe and prepared during a major event. 


Get a water-resistant "Go Bag" 

A water-resistant “Go Bag" with toiletries, three days worth of water and non-perishable food is a no-brainer. 

But did you ever think about how you might open your non-perishable canned food? Packing a can opener and small propane tank with matches will ensure you're able to open, heat and eat your food.

If you’re trapped in your house, or it’s dark outside, a whistle may come in handy. A wrench or pliers will help with turning off utilities that are facing a leak or crack. Batteries can keep you out of the dark and give you extra juice for your phone.

Fill up your bathtub 

In case of a major earthquake, many pipes can leak or crack. Utility companies may turn off water and power to prevent overflow of water from main breaks. Filling up your bathtub right after a quake allows you to have water for bathing, brushing your teeth, and even flushing your toilet.

Pack a change of clothes

You never know what environment you’ll be in or what mess you will get into. A sturdy pair of shoes, socks, jeans, a long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirt will do. And don't forget to pack blankets. 

Carry cash

It may be hard to find change for a $100 or even $20 bills if the power goes out. Keep fives and dollar bills handy.

Meds, pets and babies

Don’t forget medications you regularly take and baby formula. If you have a pet, make sure to pack their food as well.

Important documents

In case of a fire, prepare copies of birth certificates, insurance policies, identification, and banking info.

WATCH ALSO: Cal Fire Chief explains the state of California wildfires and how to prepare | Extended Interview