How to Build an Earthquake Kit

May 29, 2021

After a major earthquake, important to have a kit and a clear set of instructions of what to do next.  This kit is designed to take out the guesswork of what to do next and where to look for items.  Not designed for long-term survival, but rather to address the immediate issues you’ll inevitably face until either help comes or you can calm down to gather your other supplies.  This kit can be used for other emergencies as well.

Items to put in the kit

To-do list after an earthquake

  • You can download it here.
  • Put on heavy boots as you may be walking through broken glass or other debris.
  • If you are able to safely move to exit the house or building and there is an open space to go to, exit and avoid damaged areas and downed power lines. 
  • Aftershocks can happen, so be ready to drop, cover, and hold on whenever you feel shaking.
  • Check for injuries. Render first aid. Do not move seriously injured victims unless they are in immediate danger. 
  • Avoid making calls if possible as the lines will be overloaded with emergency calls.  Text if possible to alert others that you are safe.  If there is an emergency, make a call.
  • Check for other hazards and control them (fire, chemical spills, toxic fumes, gas leaks, and possible collapse).
  • Check utilities (water, gas, electric). If there is damage, turn the utility off at the source.  In an emergency, your gas can be turned off at the main gas service shutoff valve. Do not shut off the gas unless you smell gas, hear gas escaping, see a broken gas line or suspect a gas leak.  If you turn off electricity, shut off each breaker one-by-one and then the main breaker.
  • Inspect your dwelling for observable cracks and damage, including roof, chimneys, and foundation.
  • Review your food and water supplies.
  • Remember!  Emergency water can be obtained from water heaters, melted ice cubes, canned vegetables, and toilet tanks.
  • Never use matches, lighters, or candles inside.
  • Turn on the radio and listen for emergency broadcasts/announcements, news reports, and instructions. Cooperate with public safety officials.
  • Do not use your vehicle unless there is an emergency. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.
  • If your home or building is potentially unstable, set up your shelter area away from damage.
  • Check on your neighbors and help where possible.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Begin preparing to potentially evacuate if additional earthquakes leave your area uninhabitable.  Leave written messages behind for family and rescue workers.
  • Use gloves, wear heavy shoes, and have adequate and appropriate clothing available.
  • List important phone numbers on this paper.
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7 months ago

Helpful, thanks.
one thing I’d add to your kit is at least one headlamp flashlight. They are invaluable and free up your hands when responding.

Paul Weissich
Paul Weissich
2 years ago

Very helpful, thanks!

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