Earthquake Survival Kits: Are You Ready for When the Earth Shakes?


Earthquakes are a worldwide phenomenon caused by the shifting and collision of tectonic plates along fault lines. They can range from small ground tremors to more destructive intensities. One of the worst earthquakes is recent history was an earthquake in Pakistan in 2005 resulting in the deaths of 87,000. Though not every earthquake will cause such severe damage, being prepared with an earthquake survival kit is a good idea. Earthquake survival kits are easily customizable to accommodate specific needs.

In the event of an earthquake, be prepared for gas, electricity, water, and food shortages for up to three days. Depending on the severity of the quake roadways may be blocked or damaged or otherwise hazardous. As there is no method of predicting where you might be when an earthquake strikes, many experts recommend putting together three earthquake kits; one each for you home, workplace, and vehicle.

The basic essentials for an earthquake survival kit include but are not limited to food and water, purification tablets (such as iodine), work gloves, goggles and a dust mask (for dealing with debris), a first aid kit, a minimum of $100 cash (as ATM machines and banks may be out of service), family photos and copies of important documents, flashlight and portable radio (possibly crank or solar powered), batteries, and a personal commode or sanitary bags. In addition to the basics a kit should also include a supply of special care needs, such as insulin for diabetics, diapers and formula for babies and any prescription medication necessary for yourself or your family (high blood pressure pills, etc).

An earthquake survival kit should be equipped for a half gallon of drinking water per person per day, in addition to water necessary to prepare foods. Good food choices include high energy foods such as peanut butter and jelly, crackers, granola, and trail mix. Also handy foods such as instant oatmeal or other foods that can be mixed with water. If you choose canned goods, be sure to have a manual can opener. If food requires heating, use cans of Sterno.

It is a good idea to check on the condition of your earthquake survival kit every six months or so to replace any perishables and to make sure everything is in working order. Make sure that you or your family know where your earthquake survival kit is and how to use it. Having a well stocked earthquake survival kit will add a little peace of mind when the ground is shaky beneath your feet.

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