Earthquake Preparedness

earthquake preparedness

When was the last time a major earthquake struck where you live? Never? Then why on Earth would you need to prepare for something that hardly ever happens? That’s a waste of time, right? Like preparing for a global pandemic. Oh, wait.

Just because earthquakes aren’t common where you live doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for an emergency. Remember, bad stuff can go down at any time. In the past decade alone, there have been more than 267,000 earthquake-related deaths worldwide. Most serious injuries are caused by collapsing walls, falling objects, and a lack of supplies. In other words, many of these casualties could have been avoided with preparation.

No one wants to wind up a statistic. To keep you and your family safe in the event of an emergency, here’s your guide to earthquake preparedness!

Why Should You Prepare for an Earthquake?

As Scar from The Lion King would put it, “be prepared.”

You never know when an earthquake might strike, so it’s best to be aware of how to handle one. Being prepared can lower your family’s risk of injury, death, or loss of property in the event that you literally start shaking in your boots.

Think back to when you were learning to ride a bike. It was scary to wobble down the sidewalk. Then, if you hit a bump, it was game over, and you were on the ground. But as you got better, you learned to be calmer and in control; so when a bump came, you were prepared, and bumps were nothing to you after a while.

The same can be said for earthquake preparation. If you’re prepared, you can stay cool in the face of danger and think with a clear mind. Instead of panicking, you’ll be able to stay on your metaphorical bike and direct your family to safety because you know exactly what to do.

Being prepared can help during an earthquake, but it can also help your mental state in the long periods between quakes. Being prepared will give you peace of mind. You won’t be wondering, “What if an earthquake strikes? What’ll I do?” Well, you’ll know exactly what to do, and you’ll feel more confident that everything will be okay—at least as far as earthquakes are concerned.

“But Why Do I Need to Prepare? It’ll Never Happen to Me.”

It might! While there are certainly higher-risk areas, earthquakes can happen anywhere without warning. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the East Coast, in the Midwest, or right on the San Andreas fault line in California. There’s always the potential that an earthquake will rock your world.

If you live in a high-risk area, you should be especially prepared. These places include:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington State
  • Hawaii
  • Puerto Rico
  • The Mississippi Valley
earthquake preparedness, USA earthquake hazard map

Although Alaska and California are the two most earthquake-prone states, that doesn’t give everyone else a free pass. There are an average of 90 earthquakes per year in the United States, and they’re scattered all over the country.

According to, only 17 percent of Americans say that they’re prepared for an emergency. Considering that California has roughly 12 percent of the entire U.S. population, it’s safe to say that more people need to start working on their earthquake preparedness kits.

An earthquake isn’t the end of the world.

By taking the proper precautions, you and your family can stay cool in the face of danger and protect yourselves.

If you can do that, then you’ll be prepared for when bad stuff goes down. You never know exactly when an emergency is going to happen, so stay safe out there.

About the Authors

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

Professional worrier. Mom, entrepreneur. Lifetime student of brain science. Passionate about surviving what's coming (climate change, wtf) and staying as sane as possible. Determined to make the best of the end of the world.