Earthquake Preparedness Series Part 3: Creating an Emergency Kit

So far we’ve gone over earthquake insurance and earthquake-proofing your home or office. Another great way to prepare for an earthquake disaster is to put together an Emergency Disaster Kit. But what should go in your Emergency Kit?

Here’s what we recommend:

At Home

Water– Have at least one gallon per person, per day (remember to include pets, if you have any).

  • For evacuation, have a three-day supply. If you plan to remain in your home, plan to have at least a two-week supply. A water barrel (such as this 55 gallon one) can be a smart solution for storing lots of water.

Non-perishable food– Ideas include canned food (meats, beans, veggies, fruits), dried fruit, granola bars, powdered sports drinks, whey protein powder, and nut butters.

  • Check the expiration dates before purchasing so you know how long it will last. If you store canned food, be sure to also store a manually operated can opener. Keep a variety of food so that you can benefit from different types of nutrition each item offers.

First Aid Kit– Bandages, antiseptic wipes, rubbing alcohol, scissors, gauze
Flashlight with extra batteries
Rain gear/Sweatshirt
Athletic shoes and socks
Waterproof matches or matches in a waterproof container
Information of your doctors and medications or medical devices (i.e. pacemakers)
Toilet paper
Fire extinguisher
Cash in small denominations and coins
Candles, battery-operated lantern
Duct tape
Basic tools (hammer, hatchet, nails, work gloves)


In the Car

Since you never know where you’ll be when an earthquake hits, it’s good to keep a few necessities in the car.

Sturdy bag or backpack
Bottled water
Non-perishable food (and can opener if packing canned goods)
First aid kit
Work gloves
Paper towels or moist towelettes
Basic tool kit
Walking/athletic shoes and extra socks
Matches or lighter
Cash in small denominations and coins
Jacket or sweatshirt
Local street map


At Work

At work, you’ll also want to store a few emergency items in your office.

Non-perishable food (It’s easiest to store compact, dry foods at work. Ideas: dried fruit, granola bars, crackers)
Water bottles
Walking/athletic shoes and socks
First aid kit

Lastly, remember to review and replenish your emergency kit once a year!

Sources: American Red Cross: Prepare SoCal, Preparing Your Earthquake Survival Kit

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