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How to make your own quake kit and survive in your home after an earthquake

There are many different kits available on the market designed to help you survive if an earthquake occurs. If you chose to buy one, we recommend a West Coast company, Total Prepare ( that carries a variety of earthquake kits. If you chose to make your own, the kit we suggest is in two parts. An emergency grab bag you can easily take with you if you have to evacuate quickly, and secondly, a list of things you should have in your home to help your family survive an extended period of time.

At the very minimum your kit should be designed to suppot your family for 72 hours (3 days). More realistically (especially for those who live on the coastal islands), it could be a week (or more) before aid and supply routes are restored. If you have the space, it wouldn't hurt to expand your kit to support your family for 7-14 days. You could even encorporate it into your typical household shopping so expiry sensitive food items are used and replenished but stored at larger quantities to fill your kit needs.

Note: you may need to adjust supplies to reflect the number of people in your household.

The Grab Bag Quake Kit (minimum 3 day period)

check First aid kit with booklet on how to treat advanced injurys
check Survival manual
check Pencil and paper
check Leather gloves, vinyl gloves
check Essential medications
check Bottled water (at least 1 bottle per person per day) and purification tablets
check A plastic tarp or small tent for shelter
check Space blankets
check Rain poncho
check Non-perishable food items that can be easily prepared and eaten cold
check Can opener
check Waterproof matches
check Flashlight with spare batteries and some glow sticks
check Whistle
check Pocketknife
check Roll of duct tape
check Battery powered AM/FM radio with spare batteries
check Personal items – toilet paper, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
check Sanitation wipes or gel to clean hands/body
check A few plastic bags/garbage bags
check Money including coins (bank cards will likely not work)
check A photograph of your family

If you have more time or additional capacity to carry things:

check A sleeping bag for each member of the family
check Additional blankets
check Additional clothing
check Camp stove
check Additional food and water
check Rope

Before you evacuate

check Ensure you have good footwear
check Be prepared to be in the weather, have appropriate clothing
check Fill your pockets with food
check Cell phone with car charger

Survival in your home

In the case that you don't have to evacuate your home, you'll still need to be prepared to survive an extended time where food, water and medical treatment may not be readily available.

First Steps in the event of an earthquake

check Make sure everyone is ok and accounted for
check Asses the safety of your home – Is it safe to stay?
check Be educated on how to turn off water, gas and power in your home. It may be necessary to turn them off if you have a rupture or electrical problem in your home.
check If the water is still running, collect some as a backup
check Prepare to eat perishable items first if power is out.

In-Home Survival Items (in addition to the grab bag)

With shelter taken care of, your primary needs will be food and clean water.

check Bottled water
check Extra caned food items (soups, meats, vegetables, beans)
check Extra dry goods (cereals, powdered milk, food bars, dried fruit, canned juice, nuts)
check Vacuum packed food items (cured meats, cheeses)
check Flashlights and candles with extra batteries
check Additional blankets (You may not be able to heat your home)
check Fire extinguisher
check Tape and plastic in case you have to cover broken windows
check Gasoline generator and extra fuel
check A small kit of basic tools

Preparing your family

Creating a plan and talking about what to do in an emergency will help your family stay calm and know what to do. Here is a short list of things to discuss:

check Know safe (hallways, under tables) and dangerous places (falling objects, glass) in your home and practice taking cover in safe places
check Train family members where fire extinguishers are and how to use them
check Train family members how to turn off water, gas and power in your home
check Have someone or everyone in the family take a first aid course
check Remind family members on where they can find emergency contact numbers
check Plan and practice evacuation
check All family members should know where the emergency supplies are
Disaster kit Talk about what to do if the family is not home (work/school/etc…)
How to make your own survival kit Have common contact outside the area and an alternative rendezvous point if you can't get home.
How to make your own emergency kit Share your emergency plans with your neighbors

Make your own Quake Kit

Download a copy of this file to share with your family and friends.

Make your own Quake Kit

Print a copy of this page to share with your family and friends.

Download the QuakeSafe Brochure
Download the QuakeSafe Brochure