DIY Earthquake Survival Kit

Earthquake Survival Kit

Earthquake Survival Kit: Build Your Own

After every major earthquake there are people who are displaced out of their homes either temporarily or permanently. These latest major earthquakes are no different. People who still have their home intact often find that they are without water, electricity, phone, and even sewage services. A very tough situation becomes even tougher…unless they have prepared some survival gear in an earthquake survival kit.

Depending on the severity of the quake, it can take days, weeks, and even months before all of the services are working properly. Life temporarily becomes one big headache. It is a very stressful time for everyone in the community.

Building and possessing an  earthquake survival kit will give you a sense of security and peace of mind before the quake happens. That nagging feeling in the back of your head telling you that you need to be prepared for an earthquake is lessened or removed entirely. After the quake occurs you will be relieved that you did indeed prepare for the quake by having a kit.

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes and you don’t have an earthquake survival kit yet, now is the time to amend that problem. You can buy a ready made earthquake kit or you can make one yourself. Many people like to start with a ready made kit and build on it to better suit their personalized needs.

If you are going to build your own earthquake survival kit, a good idea is to store the kit in large plastic bins that are clearly marked. Store it somewhere that is easy to get to and make sure everyone in the home knows where it is and it’s purpose.

Here are the basic items that every homes earthquake survival kit should include:

Every Earthquake Survival Kit needs water:

  • I like to suggest a minimum five gallons per person in the household.
  • Don’t forget to also store plenty for yours pets.
  • Keep it in plastic bottles. The bottles that are sold with a gallon of purified water in them already are a good choice.
  • If it is tap water rotate your water every six months. Purified and distilled water will store indefinitely.
  • Purify contaminated water with household liquid bleach. Add 16 drops per gallon and wait 30 minutes. If you don’t smell a slight odor of bleach, repeat the process.
  • An alternative to bleach is solar water purification using the SODIS method.

Food is also essential:

  • Make sure all food is non-perishable. Ready to eat canned foods, dehydrated food, and freeze dried foods are all are good choices.
  • Granola bars, survival food bars, dried fruit, peanut butter, crackers and other high energy foods should be included.
  • Also include formula for the baby and any special food that your elderly need.
  • Don’t forget food for your pets.

Don’t forget shelter:

  • Buy some waterproof vinyl or Polyethylene Tarps. Hopefully you will be able to still shelter in your own home but there may still be damage to the windows or other parts of the structure. You can protect your home from the elements with those tarps. Tarps are also ideal for catching rain water to drink.
  • Bungee Cords to tie down the tarp.
  • If you aren’t able to stay home then you need to know how to make a shelter out of those tarps or have a tent to shelter your family.
  • An alternative to tarps is Plastic Sheeting. This stuff taped down with some duct tape will seal broken windows nicely.
Always include a first aid kit in your Earthquake Survival Kit

Don't forget to include a first aid kit!

You need a good first aid kit:

  • Buy a good First Aid Kit for your home. The more extensive it is, the better level of treatment you can provide.
  • Have smaller, basic kit for your bug out bag.
  • Rendering first aid to the injured is critical during any survival situation. Take some courses from the Red Cross or a similar organization to learn how to treat the injured.
  • Realize that hospitals will be overwhelmed and that the fastest healing will happen because you provided aid immediately.

Personal Hygiene & Medication should also be in your earthquake kit:

  • Feminine supplies.
  • Soap.
  • Tooth brush and paste.
  • Contact lens solution and extra lens. Spare pair of glasses.
  • Important medication. Rotate every 6 months.
  • Baby Aspirin. Chewing one when having a heart-attack can keep you out of the grave.
  • Deodorant.

Tools and other implements:

  • Flashlights and batteries. The Fenix PD31 is a great choice.
  • A battery, solar powered, or hand crank Weather Radio.
  • Fire starters. Have several different kinds such as waterproof matches and a lighter.
  • Knives. I prefer carbon stell survival knives such as the Kabar Becker BK2.
  • 550 paracord.
  • Duct tape.
  • An ax, a hand saw, or even a chain saw.
  • A big wrench to turn off the water and gas.
  • A camp shovel. The Cold Steel shovel is my personal choice.
  • A good multi tool like the Leatherman Charge TTi.
  • A manual can opener such as a P-38.
  • A camping stove and propane. You may need to boil some water.
  • Disposable camera.
  • Work gloves
  • Paper plates, plastic utensils and other disposable feeding supplies.
  • Crowbar.
  • Hammer & nails.
  • Staple gun.

Documents to include in your Earthquake Survival Kit:

Copies of all documents can be either paper or digital. Having both makes the most sense to me.

  • Wills.
  • Insurance; home, life, auto, and medical.
  • Passports, drivers license, and other identification.
  • Bank account information .
  • Credit card account information .
  • Contact list.
  • Family birth, death and marriage certificates.


  • Toilet paper.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Sanitary wipes.
  • Rubber gloves.
  • Face mask.
  • Plastic garbage bags with ties
  • 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Make sure that you mark it for sanitation because it will be used for a toilet. The Luggable Loo Portable 5 Gallon Toilet works perfectly and is inexpensive. Small trash bags used as liners make cleanup easy.
  • Liquid chlorine bleach .
  • Poop bags to pick up after pets.

Clothing and Sleeping gear:

  • Sturdy clothes shoes and boots. An Earthquake will leave all kinds of sharp items in its wake.
  • Rain ponchos.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.


  • Deck of cards or something else to fight boredom
  • $200 cash. When the power is off you can’t use your credit cards.
  • Anything else that you think is important.

This earthquake survival kit list will of course work for other disasters kits too.You will find that building and maintaining your homes earthquake survival kit is very rewarding.  I am sure that I gave you enough ideas for you to get you started on your own. By doing this for your family you will know that they have a much better chance of surviving. Hopefully you never will need to use it…but you will be glad you have it if you do.

Featured Image courtesy of : Global X
First Aid Kit Image courtesy of Rick McCharles


  1. Survival Gear
    Survival Gear03-14-2011

    Thanks for posting this. Very informative article. “The best way to lessen the impact of an earthquake on you and your household is to prepare in advance for it.” This is the most important step. I have been looking for survival gear online and I have bookmarked your site to go over later!

Leave a Reply to Survival Gear Click here to cancel reply.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

It's time to take ownership of your families survival. You are their best hope.