Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community


Prepared for the worst

Brandon Bond keeps emergency supplies on hand for his entire family, including special provisions for his twins and the family dog.


The safest place to be during a disaster might be Brandon Bond’s house. Channeling the best instincts of a Boy Scout and a citizen soldier (he served in the National Guard), Bond, 36, is director of the Office of Emergency Management at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, and he is prepared to deal with just about any contingency at work or home.

During a recent stop at his office on the ground floor of Stanford Hospital, he opened his desk drawers to reveal a change of clothes, work gloves, a face mask, a poncho, duct tape (“you always need duct tape”), toiletries, an emergency radio, bottles of water, ready-made meals, a headlamp, flashlights and a coffee cup with compartments for seven days’ worth of instant coffee.

The stockpile at his San Mateo home is even more impressive. Bond’s emergency supplies are neatly arranged in a corner of his garage: Plastic bins and duffle bags contain a tent, camping kitchen, instant food, batteries, glowsticks, crank radio, blankets, first-aid kits, a first-aid kit for the dog, emergency dog food, a personal water filter, flashlights and clothing, among other things. For his 15-month-old twins, Bond has packed a duffle bag with diapers, blankets, changes of clothes and yogurt tubes.

As a general rule, Bond said, you should stock enough emergency supplies to last a week. For instant food, he recommends non-military-style meal kits, which are generally easier to use. He also advised using canned food with a pop top, rather than the kind requiring an opener. He has 23 gallons of water stored in his garage (the rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day, he said).

Also stored in the garage are sleeping bags, a portable shower and cat litter. Bond doesn’t have a cat, but the litter is good for an emergency when no restrooms are available. “It’s really absorbent,” he said.

Alongside his house, Bond has a wrench for shutting off the main gas valve. You can buy one for $5 to $8 at just about any hardware store. But he cautioned that you should shut off the gas only if you smell it because it can take a while for the gas company to activate it again.

Bond also keeps a flashlight on his nightstand and a pair of shoes under his bed in case he needs to get through a house covered with shattered glass and debris after an earthquake. 

“The message really is about becoming a resilient member of your community because that takes stress off the system during a disaster,” he said.

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