Still Haven’t Made an Earthquake Kit? Get Started with These 8 Must-Haves
Still don’t have an earthquake kit at home for your family? Does even thinking about it make you freak out a little? We know how you feel. It took years of living in California before we finally decided to kill the earthquake anxiety and get it done. Thank god the big one didn’t happen while we procrastinated.
It’s not that we didn’t know better ‒ we knew we needed to prepare, and we worried for our family that we hadn’t already. We were just so overwhelmed by the prospect of figuring our what to put in it, how to plan, finding supplies we could trust, and not leaving anything. So don’t feel bad ‒ we’ve been there too!
Let’s take the stress out of it. We’ve helped over 10,000 people get prepared personally following recommendations from FEMA and government agencies, and we’re happy to share our system and help you get it done now. After all, you can’t prepare after an earthquake strikes.
Here's the short list:
The most important thing is to prepare a thoughtful plan on how your family will respond after an earthquake. Map out an evacuation plan for your home, highlight danger areas to avoid, and settle on a primary and backup meeting place. Create and print a list of emergency and personal contacts. Find out where local agencies place shelters in the aftermath of a disaster. Know your work/school plan and evac routes.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Rendezvous Point. Decide where your family can safely meet, and even plan for a backup location. Most days your family is separated (at school and work). Even if you are home when a quake strikes, evacuating can be confusing.
*PRO TIP ‒ Buy, print, or make local maps, and mark hospitals, urgent care centers, and possible evacuation routes. Google maps may not be an option, so be ready to work off a paper map.
You can't survive without water, so make it a priority. Find bagged water with a long shelf-life (5 years+), and get enough for at least 72 hours per-person. Beyond bagged water, set your family up to create your own clean water with purification tablets, an expandable water carrier, and a water filtration bottle. We make sure our bags have water capabilities for a gallon of water per-day per-person. Don’t settle for less.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Bagged water. You can’t fill up old bottles and call it a day. You need water that is sealed air-tight to avoid bacteria for at least 5 years. The last thing you want in an emergency is contaminated water, so look for bagged water that is Coast-Guard approved.
*PRO TIP ‒ Find yourself without water? Your water heater, ice cubes in the freezer, and even the back of the toilet (purified) are all good sources of drinking water.
Keeping energy levels high when you need to travel on foot is vital, so throwing old granola bars and a can of soup in your bag won’t cut it. Your family needs high calorie and nutrient content that will hold up in any condition.
Find food with a long shelf-life (5 years+), and get at least enough for 72 hours. Our bags are packed with over 1,000 calories per-person per-day, and yours should be too.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Military-style MRE bars, because they are dense, sustaining, and long-lasting. They are good for at least 5 years, so you won’t have to keep re-provisioning.
*PRO TIP ‒ Basic snacks won’t cut it- you need something advanced. After a disaster, food becomes currency. Don’t pinch pennies.
Being able to treat wounds is a survival must. Get a large first aid kit, and make sure it has bandages, gauze, tape, alcohol pads, and splints at the very least.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Latex gloves. You never know who might have a communicable disease, or what you may have to touch in the course of providing first aid.
*PRO TIP ‒ Stock up on medicine to treat illness and wounds. Think aspirin, ibuprofen, antacid, antibiotic ointment, and burn cream, among others.
Emergencies are less dangerous with updated info and light, but it’s tough when internet, TV, phones, and the electric grid are down. You need evacuation instructions and survival info, so an off-the-grid radio is key. Pack extra flashlights, waterproof matches, a 30-hour candle, and bright sticks. Even a Flint and Steel comes in handy when you are desperate for light and warmth.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Experts agree, a hand crank-powered radio/flashlight is crucial. It gives you access to light and communication without batteries or the power grid.
*PRO TIP ‒ Find a hand crank-powered radio/flashlight that also charges your phone. You’ll be glad you can stay in touch.
This isn't the first thing people think of, but it is an absolute game-changer in an emergency. Pack travel-size soap, shampoo, conditioner, razor and shaving cream, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, infectious waste bags, maxi pads, a washcloth, glasses, contacts and contact solution.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Infectious Waste bags are particularly important- not disposing of waste leads to infection and disease. Often these are the biggest dangers.
*PRO TIP ‒ Pack Maxi Pads. It’s often overlooked, but makes a huge difference in comfort and hygiene.
Sometimes the most dangerous part of a disaster is the sharp, toxic, unhygienic or generally treacherous environment left after an earthquake. Pack goggles, a dust mask, work gloves, and waders/galoshes.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Leather gloves; your hands are the easiest places to cut with debris after an earthquake, and an infection can be lethal.
*PRO TIP ‒ Make sure your dust mask is N95 certified. That means it’s medical-grade and can actually remove harmful particles in the air. Think about building debris after a collapse, like lead, asbestos, and other chemicals.
Staying dry and warm is essential the key to staying alive and healthy. You’ll want thin, lightweight sleeping bags, blankets and ponchos, as well as body warmers and an emergency tent.
* MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Emergency blanket. They are heat-reflective and the lightest weight; specifically designed for emergencies.
*PRO TIP ‒ Pack quick-activating hand/body warmers and a fleece blanket for extra protection against the cold.
Think carefully about what you’ll need when evacuating ‒ you won’t have internet or phone service. Pack copies of personal documents, family and emergency contact info, cash, house + car keys, glasses + contacts.
*MUST-HAVE-ITEM ‒ Medication. If it’s vital to your health now, have extra packed for an emergency. It’s very unlikely that the pharmacy will be open.
*PRO TIP ‒ Cell signal in a disaster area may be jammed, so have a pre-established out-of-town contact person for you and your family. Write it down and have a copy in your earthquake bag.
You know you need one, so stop putting it off and get it done right now. If you don’t have time to track down the best tools and materials to do it right, we’ve made one for you. The Earthquake Bag is tailored specifically for your family needs, and has even more than the recommended food, water, and tools for less than it costs to buy them yourself.
ps - Our Complete Bags are 25% off right now. Oh yeah, and we donate $5 to those in need of emergency help right now for every order we receive. Hope we can help you out!
- Zach Miller