Now that you’re convinced that you need to prepare for an earthquake, it’s time to make your preparedness kit. When things start to get shaky, it’ll help to have all the supplies you need all packed up in an easy-to-find place.
Store enough supplies to be able to survive for at least 72 hours without power or access to food and water.
You might be thinking, “I can survive that long with the contents of my purse.” Maybe that’s true, but you should still create a kit because it’s highly unlikely that everything you need is, in fact, in anyone’s purse, briefcase, or backpack.
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Thanks for your support!
Here are some of the essential items you should include in your earthquake preparedness kit:
Water – Pack at least one gallon of water per person per day. In a 72-hour kit, that means three gallons per person in your household. You might not drink a gallon of water per day, but it can also be used for sanitary purposes.
Radio – What’ll you do if you lose Wi-Fi and can’t check Twitter for situation updates? Go old school and listen to the radio. Find one that can run on batteries in case you lose power. And include a package of extra batteries. Or better yet, get one of those crank radios.
Flashlight – No power means no lights. Don’t forget the correct-size batteries for it, which are often size D.
First aid kit – A kit within a kit? That’s right. Pack a first aid kit complete with bandages, antiseptic wipes or solution, adhesive tape, disposable gloves, and tweezers for splinters.
Extra batteries – Yes, we’re repeating ourselves here, but you can never have enough batteries. Make sure to pack different types to power all your gadgets.
Whistle – If your house or building collapses and you’re trapped inside, you’ll need to signal for help. Whistles are louder than your voice and won’t get worn out.
Dust masks –Earthquakes kick up a lot of dust, especially if there’s structural damage. Keep enough masks for everyone in your family.
Adjustable wrench and pliers – You can turn off water valves and shut off other utilities.
Manual can opener – To open your canned food.
Phone chargers, battery backup, or power bank – You think it’s hard to find your charger now? Try searching during an earthquake.
Medications – Keep a three-day supply of any prescriptions your family needs. No, wine doesn’t count as medication, although it might not hurt.
Eye glasses/contact solution – This is a good place for the backup glasses you’ve had since high school.
Entertainment – Pack some books, games, and puzzles—as many as you can find. You know what happens when your kids get bored.
What else you might need:
If you menstruate or there is someone in your group who does, don’t forget to pack feminine hygiene supplies.
You never know where you’ll be when an earthquake hits, so FEMA recommends making several kits to stash in your office, your car, and your house. Make sure the kit in your house is the most extensive, in case you need to shelter in place during an extended power outage or similar loss of services.
Ain’t no shame in the prepackaged game. Better to be partially prepared than not prepared at all! Prepackaged kits are a great starting point, since they make it easy to check off the basics and give you more time to devote to collecting items to meet your family’s more specific needs.