5 Things You Must Have in Your Earthquake Bag
Why are so many Americans unprepared for an earthquake?
At The Earthquake Bag, we want everyone to be prepared.
FEMA recommends that every citizen prepare with a minimum 3-day supply of food, water, and tools.
If you’re more of the DIY-type, or you’ve already started creating your bag, we have an amazing list for you. We put together the five things that should be in everyone’s earthquake bag.
5 Things That Should Be In Your Earthquake Bag
1. The Bag
We’re not just saying this because it’s in our name.
So many of us start our preparations with food, water, and some multi-tools. Those are a great place to start! But a better place to start is a bag to put it all in.
The whole idea is to have a bag that you can grab as you head out the door.
That’s why a good bag is essential after an earthquake. What use is a well-stocked emergency kit if it’s not portable?
In February 2017, 188,000 citizens in Northern California were given less than hour to evacuate their homes after the Oroville Dam experienced a failing spillway. WIth that little time to evacuate, who wants to waste a single minute finding something to carry all your supplies in?
There are two main options for earthquake bags: a backpack or a rolling duffel bag.
A backpack is large enough for a 3-day supply for one of two people. It’s easy to store near your bed or your car, and can contain the minimum supplies you need to stay safe.
A rolling duffel is better for larger families or for a larger kit. We prefer a rolling duffel bag over a regular duffel bag because earthquake supplies can get heavy, and the most important part of the bag is that you can take with you when you need it.
2. Water Purification Tablets
After an earthquake, you should have at least a 3-day supply of food and water per person.
Water is your major concern.
With an already-short supply of water, Californians are often at risk of losing even more fresh water after an earthquake.
The minimum drinking water supply should be 1 gallon per person per day. You will still need additional purified water for other considerations like brushing your teeth, washing dishes, bathing, and potential food prep. Be sure to store cases of emergency drinking water.
You might not have the time or ability to carry your emergency drinking water. That’s why we’ve chosen water purification tablets as one of the top five items for your earthquake bag. Tablets are a lightweight, reliable way to purify water on the go. You can easily store them in any size earthquake bag, and they are simple to use.
Consider all the people in your family. Infants require ready-to-feed formula on hand in case water isn’t easily available. Pets should also have a supply of food and clean water. Don’t forget family members with special dietary restrictions or medical needs.
3. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is incredibly useful after an earthquake. It could take hours, or even days, to receive medical care after an earthquake. Damaged roadways and crowded hospitals make it difficult to see doctors if you have a minor injury.
Most earthquake-related injuries aren’t from the actual quakes, but as a result of failing structures. Collapsing walls, windows, and falling objects contribute to most injuries—particularly when people attempt to move more than a few feet during a quake.
Fortunately, cuts, scrapes, and bruises can all be treated at home with a first aid kit. A large supply of gauze, some bandages, antibiotic ointments, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers are the best items to keep in your kit.
Good hygiene is also important after an earthquake. In addition to the basics like toothpaste and soap, consider adding feminine hygiene products and toilet paper to your earthquake bag. You’d be surprised how important these items can be to help your family feel a little more comfortable during such a difficult time.
Prescription medication is a major consideration after an emergency. It is very possible that pharmacies won’t be open, so talk to your physician about getting a prescription for a small supply of back up medication.
4. Off-Grid Light Source
Earthquakes are never convenient, often taking out the resources we rely on. For most, the need for light and communication with our loved ones is essential in the aftermath of a quake.
Your earthquake bag should have tools that provide both light and power in the event of an emergency. A reliable light source is necessary after a quake. When power lines are down, the darkness can be shocking and unsafe.
A solar-powered light source provides you with the light you need to stay safe, without requiring batteries. Solar powered lights and generators, like the Waka Waka Power+, are hardworking tools that provide both light and power. You can charge your phone 1.5 times and have 200 hours of light after one solar charge.
A hand crank radio is probably the most crucial tool to have. A radio will allow you to receive emergency alerts, so that you can evacuate if necessary, and the flashlight tool will provide necessary light.
5. Mylar Sleeping Bag
If your home is unsafe, warmth and shelter are two major concerns that you must figure out quickly. A mylar sleeping bag will help you retain heat. Mylar sleeping bags are easily portable and highly effective, making them the perfect choice for warmth and shelter after an earthquake.
From a mini kit for your child’s backpack to your family kit in the front hallway, a kit stocked with these items will give you a head start on your earthquake preparation.
Those five things are the most important to have after an earthquake, but they aren’t the only things you should have!
You should also consider including a dust mask, camp stove, and your family’s emergency communication plan.
An earthquake bag pre-filled with the essentials is the easiest way to be prepared today.
The tool card is our favorite small tool, because it can do so many things, but it fits in your wallet! With a can opener, bottle opener, knife blade, screwdriver, and more, you’ll be prepared for anything.
Have you started building your kit? Let us know your top essentials in the comments!
- Kamee Collins