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The Complete Earthquake Emergency Kit: 9 Things You Need

The Complete Earthquake Emergency Kit: 9 Things You Need

Your Guide To Being Prepared For An Earthquake

If you live in a state prone to earthquakes, you need an emergency kit. To be prepared if and when a quake happens, there are a few resources you’ll need that can all be stored in your personal survival kit. In this article, we’ll go over the nine most important items you need to have handy in the event of an earthquake. You might already have some of these items in your home. If not, it’s worth investing in them to be prepared to keep you and your family safe during a quake.

1. Emergency Blankets

Earthquakes can knock out power lines, leaving you without temperature control. In addition, a quake can cause damage to your home that you might not be able to address until repair resources are available again. Having several emergency blankets in your survival kit means you and your family will be able to keep warm if you end up exposed to the elements because of a quake. 

An emergency blanket is a lightweight, collapsible, insulated foil sheet that won’t take up too much space in your survival kit. You can carry multiple blankets with you in your kit while still having enough room for the rest of the important items on this list. 

2. Flashlight (And Batteries)

Since earthquakes can leave you without power, you need a source of light that you can count on. You might assume that the flashlight on your smartphone will suffice, but if the power is out, you won’t be able to charge your phone and will need to conserve its battery life for as long as possible. A battery-powered flashlight is a better option than your phone in emergencies because it is not dependent on access to power.

Opt for a flashlight that is both lightweight and durable. If you’re living in an area prone to earthquakes, keep your flashlight by your bed in case a quake causes the power to go out during the night. Your flashlight is one of the tools in your emergency kit that you’ll want quick and easy access to since it will help you locate the rest of the resources you need and navigate to safety if you’re stuck in the dark.

Make sure that you pack spare batteries for your flashlight in your emergency kit. Extra batteries can also be used for other battery-powered devices that you might have in your kit, including walkie-talkies or a radio. Whether you use them to power your flashlight or something else, or just leave them on standby, you’ll be glad to have batteries handy in the event of an emergency like an earthquake.

3. Duct Tape 

This might seem like an unlikely item to stash in your earthquake emergency kit, but duct tape can serve an invaluable purpose in the aftermath of a quake. Since earthquakes can cause significant damage to your home, it’s essential to have a means of patching up holes and leaks quickly to keep you and your family safe from exposure to the elements. If your home has been damaged by an earthquake, you might not be able to immediately access the nearest hardware store and get the tools and materials you need. For a time, duct tape can act as a temporary fix until you are able to address the damage.

If your windows are broken during an earthquake, duct tape can be used to temporarily patch them up to keep rain, wind, and insects out of your home until you can make long-term repairs. To make sure you’re ready to make quick repairs in the aftermath of a quake, make sure you also have the next item on our list.

4. A Multi-Tool 

A multi-tool is a unique device similar to a Swiss army knife, but much more versatile. A good multi-tool provides you with a screwdriver, mini knife, pliers, bottle opener, and more all in one. During an emergency like an earthquake, it’s often difficult to maintain access to a fully stocked toolbox, so you need something more compact that you can keep handy in case you need to make a repair of any kind.

Each component of your multi-tool can come in handy in the aftermath of an earthquake. You can use its mini knife to open food and water containers and cut duct tape. Screwdriver attachments can be used for repairs and to access the battery slots on gadgets like radios and flashlights. And, of course, the multi-tool is extremely useful in any emergency or natural disaster, not just earthquakes.

5. Non-Perishable Food 

You don’t want you or your family to be hungry in the wake of an earthquake. The damage caused by quakes can lead to power outages, compromising grocery stores, and causing the food in your refrigerator to go bad. In addition, some earthquakes can force you and your family to evacuate your home and seek shelter elsewhere. No matter what, you need to have food on hand that you can count on to keep you full and not go bad. 

The best option for non-perishable food to keep in your earthquake survival kit is high-calorie energy bars. When it comes to food for survival, the more calories, the better. An energy bar can act as a meal replacement and keep you full for longer than many other non-perishable goods like crackers and trail mix. Plus, energy bars are lightweight and easy to carry with you.

6. Packaged Water 

Did you know that water bottles can expire? The water itself won’t go bad, but the bottles will eventually become compromised and can start leaking out chemicals into the water. This is a big no-go for emergency preparedness and in general. When you’re storing water in an emergency kit to stay prepared for earthquakes, the best option is water in pouches. Water pouches have a shelf life of five years and are relatively flat, making them easy to carry in even smaller emergency kits.

7. Work Gloves 

An earthquake can leave behind dangerous debris that you wouldn’t want to pick up barehanded. In some situations, you need to handle a piece of broken glass, metal, or other sharp material after an earthquake, and it’s essential to have gloves handy to protect your hands. Plus, gloves are lightweight and take up little space in your emergency kit.

8. Ponchos 

If you need to evacuate your home in the wake of an earthquake and the roads are damaged, you’ll need to move on foot. This isn’t a pleasant scenario to picture, but it could happen. If you end up needing to travel to safety and can’t use a car, you and your family will need protection from the rain. An emergency kit can easily store collapsible ponchos, which won’t take up too much space and will keep you dry if you end up stuck out in the rain after an earthquake. 

9. Masks 

Since earthquakes can leave behind dust and debris, there are times when you’ll need a mask available during and after one. A mask can keep you safe from inhaling harmful dust and debris that could make you sick or make it hard to breathe. If you have a mask packed in your emergency kit, you’ll have protection from that harmful debris when you’re on the move. In addition, you can reach for the mask during a quake and put it on preemptively.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/earthquakes/prepared.html

https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/survival/gear/space-blanket.htm

https://www.csusm.edu/em/procedures/earthquake.html

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