How to Pack Your California Earthquake Survival Kit
This is embarrassing, but I’ve had my “California Earthquake Survival Kit" on my “To Do” list for the past two years. Does this sound familiar? Do you think you've got time? Well, the reality is that maybe you do, but why be caught unprepared when the Big One hits? Take a quick look at the picture above taken from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, and you're looking at what we're potentially in for. Think about all the disasters that are happening, e.g., fires, mudslides, earthquakes...this is reality in Southern California, baby!
Perhaps it's because I've got a background as a Girl Scout ("Be prepared" was their motto), I decided to get my act together and gather the items for my Earthquake Survival Kits. I also thought to myself, "Why not share the information I've gathered and put it to good use so that others can either get their California Earthquake Survival Kits together?"
HERE'S WHAT I’VE LEARNED ABOUT GETTING EARTHQUAKE KITS TOGETHER:
I got my information from those who deal with disasters every day: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross. Visit their websites for more detailed information; they hold treasures of great ideas and information.
Firstly, know that you need to have three separate earthquake kits. You should have one for work, one for your car and one for home. You never know when an earthquake will hit, and where you’ll be, so you’ve got to be prepared.
The Work Earthquake Kit: Fill a backpack with food and water for 3 days, and comfortable walking shoes.
The Car Earthquake Kit: Fill a backpack with food and water for 3 days, first aid kit, jumper cables, flashlight and blanket.
The Home Earthquake Kit: Fill a backpack with food, water and essential supplies that you’ll need for 3 days. Keep reading below for the details of the essentials you’ll need. Additionally, FEMA recommends storing an additional 2 weeks’ worth of supplies in your home.
THE EASIEST SOLUTION: The Red Cross Backpack
I was pleasantly surprised to find the convenient and very reasonably priced Red Cross Survival Kit. The investment is a mere $50 per backpack, and is great for people who don’t want to have to shop around and gather all the items. Here’s what’s included in the backpack:
• Battery Powered Flashlight (batteries included)
• Battery Powered Radio (batteries included)
• Emergency Blanket
• Food Bars (4,800 calories total)
• Work Gloves (one pair)
• 12-Hour Light Sticks (3)
• Moist Towelettes (6)
• Breathing Mask (NIOSH-N95)
• Plastic Sheeting (10' x 10')
• Rain Poncho
• Personal First Aid Kit
• Roll of Duct Tape
• Water (2 quarts)
• Water Container (2.5 gallon)
• First Aid and Emergency Preparedness Booklet
You can also find a host of other really cool items at the Red Cross Store. Check it out!
Visit the Red Cross Store here.
- Red Cross Store
Shop the RedCross.org Store and stock up on emergency preparedness kits, first aid supplies, reference guides, apparel, baby wear and jewelry while supporting the American Red Cross' mission of helping families during times of disaster.
THE DO-IT-YOURSELF 3 Day EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL KIT, PLUS HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS & DETAILS
Are you one of those people who like to do their own research and pack it all up your own way? If so, simply gather the same materials of the Red Cross Survival Backpack (See above). Read on about the details...
What do you need to get?Think of it this way. You’re going to be on your own, and it’s commonly recommended that you have supplies for three days or 72 hours. Imagine not having access to electricity, gas, lights, phone service, water for several days...Do you think you’re going to be able to go to the local store to buy your supplies? Is this scary enough for you? It is for me, so let’s get our bags filled and ready!
According to the Red Cross, here are the items that you will need to complete your kit for one person:
One gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home).
Useful things to know about emergency water (per FEMA):
1. The BEST source for your emergency water supply is to purchase commercial bottled water, such as Arrowhead or Sparkletts.
• Remember to observe the expiration date.
2. The Do It Yourself Method for Emergency Water Supplies:
• Get yourself 2-liter plastic soda bottles (they don’t have the chemical BPA which leaches out from plastic) and thoroughly wash them with soap and water.
• Sanitize the bottles by swishing the insides of the bottle with a solution of 1 teaspoon non-scented liquid bleach to 1 quart of water.
• Rinse the bottle with clean water. Fill the bottle with tap or filtered water.
• Write the date on the outside of the bottle in a cool, dark place.
• Replace this water every 6 months.
Make sure to pack non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home).
Good choices: Canned foods, dry mixes, salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, trail mix and MREs from military surplus stores.
Avoid foods that will make you thirsty and make sure you have a manual can opener handy.
Also include food for those with special diet needs.
Other Important Things to Remember:
sure to use food before their expiration date, and place the older
items at the front of the shelf (and new items at the back of the
• Make sure to write dates when you store food items and change supplies every 6 months.
Pack These Essential Items in Your Earthquake Survival Backpack
• Batterypowered or handcrank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7day supply) and medical items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items (includes toilet paper, moist towelettes)
• Copies of personal documents (driver’s license, credit cards, social security card, medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash and coins
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area
Consider Packing These Items for Family Members
• Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
• Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
• Games and activities for children
• Pet supplies (collar, leash, license tag, food, carrier, bowl)
• Two-way radios
• Extra set of car keys and house keys
• Manual can opener, cooking utensils, plates, cups
Other Supplies That You May Want to Pack in Your Kit:
• N95 or surgical masks
• Rain gear
• Work gloves
• Tools/supplies for securing your home
• Extra clothing, jacket, long pants, long sleeve shirt, hat and sturdy shoes
• Plastic sheeting
• Duct tape
• Household liquid bleach
• Entertainment items
• Blankets or sleeping bags
From the Manufacturer
Each kit contains enough emergency supplies to sustain two people for three days, as recommended by the American Red Cross. There's food, water and emergency blankets, plus a First Aid kit (33 piece), two 12-hour safety lightsticks, dust masks, nitrile gloves and an emergency whistle. Each kit also contains emergency ponchos and pocket tissues. The kit, in a handy backpack, can be stored at home, at school, and at the office.
Because you never know when there will be an emergency situation, it's wise to always be prepared. To avoid being caught unprepared, make sure that you have the Grab 'n Go 3 Day Emergency Kit 2 Person Backpack on hand at home, at school and at the office. Each kit contains enough emergency supplies to sustain two people for three days. The three basic essentials, as recommended by the American Red Cross, are in every handy backpack.
With a 5 year shelf life to match our Rations, our Emergency water packets provide a full meals hydration to one individual and are purchasable by the case of 64 or by the three-day supply (12 packets). Balanced with our rations to provide adequate hydration without over-burdening a carrier in case movement during a disaster is required, our Emergency Drinking Water is Coast Guard approved as sanitary and safe, unlike bottled water which is subject to absolutely no federal standards. Tough packaging stands up to weather and shields water against inhospitable conditions. Available for purchase by the 3-day pack or by the case. Case contains 64 individual water packets, to be consumed with meals, one packet four times a day. Shelf life: 5 years.
With a shelf-life of 5 full years, our Emergency Rations are simply the best source of emergency nutrition available. Unlike MRE's, which are high in sodium and only suitable for use by those with an extremely large pure water supply, our rations are low in sodium, balanced with our Emergency Water Pouches to provide full nutrition and energy 24 hours a day without dehydrating the consumer. Lightweight, compact, and portable, these rations will last an individual for 3 days, providing 4 meals each day. They are easy to digest and have a pleasing coconut cookie flavor. With such unbeatable nutrition, portability, and practicality, it's no wonder the U.S. Coastguard has certified these Emergency rations for use anywhere. Rations contain coconut and wheat. Please consult your physician if you have any special dietary conditions such as active Crohn's Disease or Diabetes. Young children can be fed a half ration, and ration can be mixed with water for babies and others with sensitive digestion or missing teeth. Available for individual purchase or purchase by the case. Case contains 30 individually wrapped 2400 calorie ration bars. Shelf life: 5 years.
Peace of Mind!
There you have it...Your complete California Earthquake Survival Kits, Made EASY! I've got peace of mind for surviving the quake. Do you?
Now...Onward and upward to earthquake-proofing my home!