Top 10 Categories for Your Earthquake Kit Checklist



There are a number of things to consider when building your own earthquake kit so if you ever think about building your own, make sure you make a checklist so you don’t forget anything important.

1. First Aid Kit

In case someone gets injured, a first aid kit is essential in treating wounds and preventing infection. Some things to consider are:

  • adhesive bandages
  • sterile gauze pads
  • adhesive tape
  • roller bandages to hold dressings in place
  • scissors
  • tweezers
  • safety pins
  • instant ice packs
  • non-latex gloves
  • antiseptic wipes/soap
  • antibiotic ointment

2. Food

You’ll need to eat to keep yourself nourished. I recommend packing non-perishable foods or extended shelf life foods with high calorie content. Calories help provide energy to your body so the more the better in this case. Yup! That’s freeze dried LASAGNA up there! They also have beef stroganoff, chili mac and beef, and chicken teriyaki with rice!

Some good examples are freeze dried foods, high calorie survival bars, and canned food.

3. Water

Water is essential for life and can be used for a variety of things after an earthquake. The number one usage is for drinking. You’ll need 3 gallons per person. Try to keep big bulk containers of water in your yard or other places just in case. You can always get high shelf life water as well. You can also use water for cooking, rinsing, and washing.

4. Light and Radio

After a serious earthquake, it’s likely that you won’t have any electricity. You’ll need light at night either in the form of a flashlight, headlamp, or long burn candles. Make sure you store extra batteries or get a crank flashlight.

You most likely won’t have the luxuries of the internet so you’ll have to go old school to receive news from the outside world. A radio is very important as information such as what’s going on or instructions on what you should do next can be transmitted. Again, make sure you have extra batteries or get a crank radio or you can get a 2-in-1 crank radio with built in flashlight.

5. Sleeping Gear

You’ll eventually need to rest and conserve energy so being warm and comfortable will help. You can get compact emergency sleeping bags or lightweight thermal blankets to keep you warm through the night.

6. Tools

A knife, compact shovel, or a multi-tool like this awesome one from Blade Driver can be very useful during an emergency and they don’t take too much space so be sure to put them into your emergency kit.

7. Fire Starting

Just like the caveman days, fire can be a life saver keeping you warm and allowing you to have warm cooked meals. Good fire starting tools to consider are, matches, lighters, and flint. Make sure you keep them in waterproof packaging to ensure they aren’t soaked and useless when you need them most.

8. Protective Gear

After a major earthquake there can be several hazards that will harm you such as dust, leaking chemicals, and toxic fumes. You should have appropriate protective gear to ensure your safety. Some things to consider are dust masks, protective leather gloves, goggles, and gas masks.

9. Maps and Documents

Home Insurance

Maps with hospitals, police stations, and fire stations clearly marked along with important phone numbers will allow you to quickly contact them in case of emergency. Photocopies of documents such as identification and insurance policies will come in handy if you have no access to your house after an earthquake.

10. Comfort Items

Facing a disaster can be extremely stressful especially for children. Comfort items such as games, coloring books, teddy bears, and activity books can help keep their mind off things. Games aren’t only for children. Morale can be affected by long hours of boredom where all you can do is wait for help. If there’s nothing you can do, try to take time to relax and process things as taking care of your mental state is the most productive thing you can do. Other comfort items may be simple everyday items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush/toothpaste, and toilet paper.


  1. Tina

    This is great list to have. I live on the east coast and have no idea what I would do or need. We had a small earthquake here a few years ago and that was enough for me!
    Thanks for the information!

  2. Alfred James

    Really nice article! I’m from a part of the world that are so many earthquakes but we don’t take the time to consider something like you’re teaching us here. Thanks for share, I always say that the information has to be relevant and useful to the people, and that’s what you wrote here, really nice.

    1. Andy

      Thanks Alfred! I’m hoping people will help spread the word so more people are aware of what to do during a major earthquake. They might think it’ll never happen but when it does and they don’t know what to do or don’t have the necessary supplies, it can be life threatening.

  3. Reed

    WOW! So well done from top to bottom. I’m trying to set up a very similar website and could only hope to do as well. On item number 8 you probably want to change googles to goggles. On number 10, the comfort list is such a great idea. I have a deck of cards in my kit but then, we are empty nesters and don’t have any small children. Nice job and Good Luck!

    1. Andy

      Nice catch! Thanks for letting me know. I corrected the typo. I’m sure you’ll have a great site. Maybe we can even do a guest post on each others site to help each other out.


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