Have you heard of the San Andreas fault in California, Cascadia fault zone in the Pacific Northwest or the New Madrid fault in Missouri? Even Las Vegas is at risk of serious earthquakes. So you’re probably here because you’ve realized it’s about time to prepare your home earthquake emergency kit.
In this post, I’m not going to try and scare you or convince you that you need to be prepared. I’m only going to talk to you about the what supplies should be in your emergency kit and how to use them. You can print this post and attached to your emergency kit too.
In case of a mass casualty disaster like an earthquake, you can’t just rely on other people to help your family. It’s your responsibility to keep your family safe and survive a disaster.
What should be included in your Home Earthquake Emergency Kit?
If you’ll be making your own home earthquake emergency kit, first you’ve got to realize the 3 basic human needs. And no, it’s not the internet, phone, and tv. Our 3 basic needs are air, water, and food. Of course, air is not something that you can put in your kit, so you just need to focus on the right food and water.
- Food. Your emergency food should be non-perishable and sufficient for at least 3 days. Since you’ll be keeping your kit for a long time, you don’t want to food that can spoil with heat and over time. You can have can goods, but the problem with can goods is their expiration dates. So if you have a family of four members or more, and you eat 3 times in a day, that’s a lot of storing and waste each year when you replace them.
That’s why we use the emergency food bar for our disaster survival kit. They have 5-year shelf life, store well in the heat and provide 3 days worth of food per person. They are also non-thirst provoking which is important in an emergency when water is limited. Our family emergency kit includes 4 of these food bars.
- Water. Aside from drinking, you will also need water for your personal needs for hygiene, cleaning, and first aid treatment like washing of wounds and burns. So how much water should you store? We suggest at least 55 gallons of water in a household, you can read the post about long term water storage here. But since we are looking for something a little more portable that we can put in on our earthquake emergency kit. We suggest water pouches. Our American made Emergency Water Pouches have a 5 year shelf life. And because of the high-tech packaging of these pouches, the purified and sterilized water are unaffected by temperature extremes. Our family emergency kit includes 36 of these emergency water pouches.
Now that we’ve covered the basic survival needs of a human being, we need some first-aid supplies in case of life-threatening injuries. On my video post here, I’ve talked about the 3 major causes of death from an accident or disaster. It’s Breathing, Bleeding, and Shock. In a mass casualty, you can’t wait or rely on other people to help you and your family. You need to have a real first aid kit and you need to know how to perform these basic live-saving skills. You can watch all my videos on how to save lives when you sign up in my free training here.
Here’s a list of the first aid supplies that you need in your earthquake kit.
- Trauma Dressings. Use for bleeding and wounds. Watch my video on how to stop and control bleeding here. We have 10pcs. 4×4 gauze pads (used for minor to moderate wounds or bleeding) and 3pcs. 5×9 (use for severe bleeding) Trauma dressings in our kit.
- Thermal Blankets. Use for victims who are in shock to keep them warm (unconscious or unresponsive). You can watch my video on how to treat shock here. We include 4 of these in our kit.
- Burn Gel Dressing. In a case of burns, apply this Gel to the burned area. You can watch my video on how to treat burns here. We have 1 Bottle of Burn Gel in our kit.
- Cold Packs. Use for treating bumps, bruises, muscle aches and swelling. Place gauze over skin prior to applying cold pack. We have 2 of cold packs in our kit.
- Triangular Bandage. This is a versatile dressing. It can be used to support an injured limb or extremity, secure a splint for the same limb for stabilization, as a pressure dressing to control bleeding, or to secure an arm that has a sling on it. We put 2 of these in our kit.
- Antiseptic Wipes. These wipes are alcohol-free and so it’s safe when cleaning out small injuries such as scrapes, cuts and abrasions and even minor burns before sticking on a bandage. You can watch my video on how to clean wounds here. We have 15 of these in our kit.
- Cardboard Splint. Used in case of bone fracture to immobilize the broken bone to prevent further damage or complications. We have 1 Cardboard Splint in our kit.
- Gauze Rolls. Use these when securing dressings on wounds, burns or a fracture. We include 2 rolls in our kit.
- First Aid Tape. For securing first aid dressing, bandage, and splint. Have 1 roll for each kit. The first aid tape that we use is waterproof, keeps the dressing dry, and easy to tear off.
- Band-Aids. Used for minor wounds. Make sure you wash the wound with soap and water prior to putting on the band aid. If soap and water are not available, use the BZK Antiseptic Wipes as a safe alternative.
- Paramedic Scissors. Use to cut gauze. Remove clothing, or making your own dressings. Have 1 for each kit.
- Antimicrobial Wipes. For the rescuer’s safety when they become exposed to body fluids, these wipes contain alcohol, so it should NEVER be used on wounds. You can read my post why you shouldn’t use alcohol on wounds. We have 2 pcs of antimicrobial wipes in our kit.
- Vinyl Gloves. For the rescuer’s safety when they become exposed to body fluids. We include 4 pairs of these in our kit.
Another addition on all of our first aid kit is the First Aid Guide booklet. It includes first aid treatment for CPR, Bleeding, and wounds, Head injuries, Nosebleeds, Dental injuries, Chest and Abdominal injuries, Poison, Burns, Hypothermia, Heat-related emergencies, Stroke, Diabetics and a lot more.
Additional preparedness tools for your disaster survival
Pry Bar/Gas Shutoff. After an earthquake, doors are going to become jammed. You’ll need a Pry Bar to force open doors so you can get to your family members. A gas leak is a major cause of fire and explosions. So everyone in the family needs to know where the gas meter is and how to shut it off. We’ve included our 15″ POGO (pry off, gas off) that can be used to pry open doors and shut off the gas. You can watch my video on how and when to shut off the gas here.
Light Sticks – Candles are extremely dangerous when used after an earthquake with the risk of aftershocks. Candles can spill open flames onto the floor, carpet and drapes, etc. Keep light sticks stored throughout the home for power outages and other disasters. Completely safe for the kids to use. We include 4 light sticks on our kit. These are American made, be careful of Chinese made glow sticks, they are made from unsafe chemicals and have poor light quality and a short shelf life.
Another addition to our kit are; LED Flashlights in a case of power outage, 4 Toothbrush/Toothpaste for your personal hygiene, and an Emergency Crank Flashlight/Radio so you can know what is going on in your area and it doesn’t need batteries.
I’m really glad that you are here and you are getting your family prepared. I just hope that you take action and get these supplies. It will make you more comfortable and less worried that you’ve got the tools and supplies to protect your family in case of an emergency. Remember, you can’t stop disasters, but you can stop it from going from bad to worse. From Victim, to Survivor. Let’s get your Home Emergency Earthquake Kit prepared.