How To Make An Earthquake Preparedness Kit

Following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 12,000 residents of the Bay Area were displaced either temporarily or permanently. And for those whose houses did stay intact, many were without phone service, electricity and water temporarily. We have put together a list of the earthquake preparedness supplies that is recommended by the American Red Cross to have on hand to help you prepare for a potential major earthquake.

earthquake preparedness


  • Store water in soft drink bottles or other types of plastic containers. Avoid using any containers that can break or decompose, like glass bottles or milk cartons. Normally active individuals should drink a minimum of two quarters of water every day. When there is an intensive physical activity or in a hot environment is should be double that. People who are ill, nursing mothers and children need to drink more water than that.
  • One gallon of water should be stored per individual each, including pets.
  • Have a three day supply at least of water on hand per individual (two quarts for every household member for sanitation and drinking and two quarts to drink).
  • Every six months change the water.
  • Household liquid bleach should be used for killing microorganisms. Only use regular household liquid bleach containing a 5.25 percent concentration of sodium hypochlorite. Avoid using bleaches with an added cleaner, colorsafe bleaches or scented bleaches.
  • For each gallon of water, add in 16 drops of bleach. Stir it in and allow it stand for around 30 minutes. Repeat the dose and allow it to stand for another 15 minutes if the water doesn’t have a slight bleach smell to it.
  • Household liquid bleach should be the only agent you use for treating water. Other chemicals, like iodine or the kinds of water treatment products that are sold in surplus or camping stores don’t have a 5.25 percent concentration of sodium hypochlorite as its only active ingredient, so they shouldn’t be used and are not recommended.


  • Ready-to-eat canned vegetables, fruits and meats
  • Canned soup, milk and juices
  • Pepper, salt, sugar
  • Vitamins
  • Foods that don’t increase thirst; high energy foods like trail mix, granola bars, crackers, jelly and peanut butter.
  • Foods for individuals that have special dietary needs, the elderly and infants
  • Stress and comfort foods: tea bags, instant coffee, lollipops, sweetened cereals, hard candy, cookies.
  • Pet food, one ounce minimum per day per animal.
  • Avoid foods such as dry beans, pasta and rice that require lots of water in order to prepare them. Once a year restock your food.

First Aid Kit For Earthquake Preparedness

– Triangular bandages (3)

– 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4 to 6)

– 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4 to 6)

– Sunscreen

– 2 pairs of Latex Gloves

– Soap and cleansing agent

– Various sizes of safety pins

– Assorted sizes of sterile adhesive bandages

– Non-prescription drugs like Activated charcoal (advice on use from Poison Control Center), Laxatives, Syrup of Ipecac (for inducing vomiting, advice on use from Poison Control Center, Antacid, Anti-diarrhea medicines and Pain Relievers.

– Tube of lubricant such as petroleum jelly

– 2 Tongue Blades

– Thermometer

– Antiseptic

– Moistened towelettes

– Needle

– Tweezers

– Scissors

– Assortment of roller bandages

Supplies And Tools For Earthquake Preparedness

– Wrench for turning off water and gas

Medicine dropper

– Needles and thread

– Pencils and paper

– Signal flare

– Plastic storage containers

– Aluminum foil

– Matches stored in water proof container

– Tape

– Pliers

Small fire extinguisher

– Utility knife or non-electric can opener

– Traveler’s checks or cash, in case the bank is closed after an earthquake

– Extra batteries and flashlight

– Extra batteries and battery-operated radio

– Plastic utensils and paper plates and cups


– Liquid detergent, soap

– Toilet paper

– Plastic garbage bags with ties

Feminine supplies

– Household chlorine bleach

– Disinfectant

– Plastic bucket that has a tight lid

– Scooper and poop bags for pet waste

Bedding And Clothing

– Work boots or sturdy shoes (kept close to your bed)

– Sleeping bags or blankets

Warm clothing

– Rain gear

– Sunglasses (in emergency kit also keep a pair of spare eyeglasses)


– Family records (death, marriage, birth certificates)

Important telephone numbers, inventory of all of your valuable household goods

– Credit card companies and account numbers

– Bank account numbers

– Immunization records, social security cards, passports

– Stocks and bonds, contract deeds, insurance policies, wil

Don’t forget to include any special needs that certain family members may have, like an older person or baby. Another good idea of storing earthquake preparedness is important family documents (medical records, wills, passports) inside a waterproof plastic bag in addition to your earthquake survival kit.

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