How to make your own quake kit and survive in your home after an earthquake
There are many different kits available on the market designed to help you survive if an earthquake occurs. If you chose to buy one, we recommend a West Coast company, Total Prepare (www.quakekit.ca) that carries a variety of earthquake kits. If you chose to make your own, the kit we suggest is in two parts. An emergency grab bag you can easily take with you if you have to evacuate quickly, and secondly, a list of things you should have in your home to help your family survive an extended period of time.
At the very minimum your kit should be designed to suppot your family for 72 hours (3 days). More realistically (especially for those who live on the coastal islands), it could be a week (or more) before aid and supply routes are restored. If you have the space, it wouldn't hurt to expand your kit to support your family for 7-14 days. You could even encorporate it into your typical household shopping so expiry sensitive food items are used and replenished but stored at larger quantities to fill your kit needs.
Note: you may need to adjust supplies to reflect the number of people in your household.
The Grab Bag Quake Kit (minimum 3 day period)
First aid kit with booklet on how to treat advanced injurys
Pencil and paper
Leather gloves, vinyl gloves
Bottled water (at least 1 bottle per person per day) and purification tablets
A plastic tarp or small tent for shelter
Non-perishable food items that can be easily prepared and eaten cold
Flashlight with spare batteries and some glow sticks
Roll of duct tape
Battery powered AM/FM radio with spare batteries
Personal items – toilet paper, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste
Sanitation wipes or gel to clean hands/body
A few plastic bags/garbage bags
Money including coins (bank cards will likely not work)
A photograph of your family
If you have more time or additional capacity to carry things:
A sleeping bag for each member of the family
Additional food and water
Before you evacuate
Ensure you have good footwear
Be prepared to be in the weather, have appropriate clothing
Fill your pockets with food
Cell phone with car charger
Survival in your home
In the case that you don't have to evacuate your home, you'll still need to be prepared to survive an extended time where food, water and medical treatment may not be readily available.
First Steps in the event of an earthquake
Make sure everyone is ok and accounted for
Asses the safety of your home – Is it safe to stay?
Be educated on how to turn off water, gas and power in your home. It may be necessary to turn them off if you have a rupture or electrical problem in your home.
If the water is still running, collect some as a backup
Prepare to eat perishable items first if power is out.
In-Home Survival Items (in addition to the grab bag)
With shelter taken care of, your primary needs will be food and clean water.
Extra caned food items (soups, meats, vegetables, beans)
Extra dry goods (cereals, powdered milk, food bars, dried fruit, canned juice, nuts)
Vacuum packed food items (cured meats, cheeses)
Flashlights and candles with extra batteries
Additional blankets (You may not be able to heat your home)
Tape and plastic in case you have to cover broken windows
Gasoline generator and extra fuel
A small kit of basic tools
Preparing your family
Creating a plan and talking about what to do in an emergency will help your family stay calm and know what to do. Here is a short list of things to discuss:
Know safe (hallways, under tables) and dangerous places (falling objects, glass) in your home and practice taking cover in safe places
Train family members where fire extinguishers are and how to use them
Train family members how to turn off water, gas and power in your home
Have someone or everyone in the family take a first aid course
Remind family members on where they can find emergency contact numbers
Plan and practice evacuation
All family members should know where the emergency supplies are
Talk about what to do if the family is not home (work/school/etc…)
Have common contact outside the area and an alternative rendezvous point if you can't get home.
Share your emergency plans with your neighbors