What You Need in an Earthquake Kit

What You Need in an Earthquake Kit

The first thing that you need when building an earthquake kit from the ground up is a sturdy backpack, duffle bag, or military sea bag - whatever will hold your items and is resilient to punctures or tears.

Water, Water, and Water

Drinking water was one of the most difficult things to get to the trapped victims of the 1989 San Francisco Bay Area earthquake, which registered 6.9 on the Richter scale and caused over $5 Billion in damage, killing 67 people before the hellacious nightmare of a week was finally over with. Whereas most emergency kits, for the sake of decreased total weight, often recommend filtration straws or empty receptacles to be available for any trapped or hurt victims to gather drinking water, in an emergency earthquake kit, lots and lots of bottled or bagged water is provided for trapped victims to stay adequately hydrated. Be sure to include adequate water to rehydrate any freeze-dried food that will be available in the earthquake rescue kit, as well. A good goal to shoot for is 1 gallon of drinking water, per person, per day. 

Something To Snack On

Freeze-dried or dehydrated MRE style meals are an excellent option for this type of rescue kit. The destruction of cities in major earthquakes causes massive damage to structures, which often collapse, trapping people for extended amounts of time. By placing a well-stocked earthquake kit in a place where you believe you will readily have access, you might just increase your odds of survival markedly. 

MREs (‘Meals Ready to Eat’, a concept first developed by various countries militaries, and subsequently perfected over the course of several wars by various tweaks and several brave and creative food scientists who have improved upon flavor, shelf life, and other qualities They often come with a self-heating element to warm up the meal, and good ones have extras included, like candy and a stash of toilet paper. They should also have plastic cutlery included. 

(This is incredibly OT, but: If you are interested in the history of MREs, check out Steve1984 on YouTube. Steve has an amazingly likable way about him as he samples old MREs, like C Rations from the Korean War, and K Rations from WWII. He is an encyclopedia of knowledge about this subject. Steve is a brave soul, and so far, he has not succumbed to food poisoning from any old cookies that were packaged into a tin can back in 1940 - which is one item he samples fairly frequently.)

Other Essentials

Since dust and debris, including microscopic irritants that can enter the lung’s alveoli and never leave again, enter into the air surrounding most catastrophic building collapses, it is a very good idea to pack a good mask - even better if it is a HEPA style mask. This might save you from developing emphysema years after being involved in an earthquake.

Pack some of your own prescription medicine. Since pills, inhalers, and injections expire pretty quickly, it might be wise to always carry any medications that your body needs to function normally every single day in a briefcase or purse. Don’t forget your insulin, if that’s what might become a sobering reason for premature death in the event of a random, future earthquake and building collapse. 

A well-stocked First Aid Kit: including multiple sterile bandages, gauze, medical tape, ointments for minor skin injuries and irritation, wound cleanser (0.9 Saline Irrigation, or other wound cleansing prep), acetaminophen (or paracetamol in the UK), or aspirin for fever and pain, a thermometer, elastic bandage for a minor sprain, tape stitches, or any other supplies you might be qualified to use in an emergency (sterile sutures and needle drivers).

  • Bleach or antibacterial wipes and toilet paper
  • A change of clothes, clean socks and underwear, and comfortable shoes 
  • A warm blanket, or reflective plastic blanket
  • A light source, like a lamp or flashlight (including a working change of batteries)
  • A portable phone charger

If you smoke, you should probably pack a vape pen or a pack of smokes. Trying to quit while trapped in an office building probably isn’t the ideal time