A earthquake has the capacity to put lives at risk, and to do billions of dollars of damage in a matter of only seconds. The majority of people in high risk areas are not prepared, increasing their own and their families risk level when dealing with this type of natural disaster. Many people have been through earthquake drills. In addition, it is also critical to go through a earthquake preparedness checklist and to have earthquake emergency supplies.


photo credit: sanbeiji

The Earthquake Preparedness Checklist

Your earthquake preparedness checklist, first and foremost must minimize your exposure to immediate hazards if an earthquake was to happen. Have a look around your house, your workplace, or anywhere else you frequent for immediate hazards.

  • Here are some examples of some common hazards:
  • Pictures hanging over top of your bed.
  • Unsecured cabinets. (Could potentially fall over)
  • Unsecured appliances (you do not want your fridge to launch itself in an earthquake)
  • Unlatched cabinet doors (cabinet contents could be launched out in an earthquake)
  • *Ensure you are able to turn your gas off if you smell gas*

Your earthquake preparedness checklist should also take care of what to do during and after an earthquake. You need to be aware of hazards that you do not have control over, such as gas lines in your area or power lines you should avoid. In case your home is not safe to be in after an earthquake, you should have pre-selected a meeting place for your family clear of hazards.

Your earthquake preparedness checklist also needs to prepare you for after an earthquake. Two key points you need to cover are communication, and your earthquake emergency supplies. Keep in mind that it is extremely likely that your cell phones, and regular land line phones will not work after an earthquake. If the earthquake is severe and regular phone service will be interrupted for an extended period of time, temporary pay phones may be brought into your area. Make sure that you have some quarters included in with your earthquake emergency supplies. Since access to phones may be random, it will be hard to reach family in the affected area. Make sure you have an out of state, or out of province contact to be used as someone to update with information, and receive updates from.

Your Earthquake Emergency Supplies

With earthquake emergency supplies keep in mind that in a typical day you are not just at home. Many people only keep a kit at home which will not do them much good if an earthquake happens when they are at work. The bare minimum you will want have supplies for is 72 hours, and many kits are sold to get you through 72 hours. Personally I like to have more of a buffer, and have supplies on hand for 5 days. Earthquake emergency supplies can be put into kits to accommodate different needs and budgets.

The bare minimum for your earthquake emergency supplies will include things that will cover your most basic needs:

  • Food (typically a 3-5 year expiry)
  • Water(3-5 year expiry)
  • Basic first aid
  • Shelter (Tarp with rope works, or a tube tent)
  • Mylar blankets
  • Waterproof matches/lighter
  • Light-sticks/Flashlights
  • Wind-up radio
  • Multi-tool
  • Toilet paper (unless you are comfortable wiping your bum with leaves…stay away for poison ivy)

This would be an example of a fairly basic kit, but depending on what you feel you and or your family's needs are don't hesitate to customize your earthquake emergency supplies kit. If you feel like not brushing your teeth for a few days would drive you nuts, then make sure you include a small hygiene kit. Make sure you are also aware of when various items in your kit expire, the last thing you would want in an emergency is water that you don't feel safe drinking.

This is a very minimal earthquake preparedness checklist and example of earthquake emergency supplies. The idea of this article is to give you a rough idea of what you can do to get started. I will be writing some more detailed articles to follow-up, but please do go through some more detailed literature. If an earthquake was to happen, it is important to be as prepared as possible.