A severe earthquake isn’t pleasant to think about, but it’s an unfortunate reality for people in many areas of the country. Being prepared with an earthquake kit will give you the peace of mind of being ready for this occurrence if it happens.
Earthquake kits include the essentials for survival like food, water, shelter, and first aid, as well as useful supplies such as multi-tools, flashlights, and fire starters. All of these items fit into a backpack you can quickly throw over your shoulder in an emergency.
If you live in an area prone to earthquakes or other types of natural disasters, read on to learn more about some of the best earthquake kits you can buy.
- BEST OVERALL: Emergency Zone 2 Person Family Prep Survival Kit
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ready America 70380 Essentials Emergency Kit Backpack
- BEST BASIC KIT: Ready American 70180 Emergency Kit 1 Person Backpack
- BEST LONG-TERM: Wise 5-Day Survival Backpack
- BEST FOR REMOTE AREAS: Sustain Premium Family Emergency Survival Kit
- BEST FOR CITY DWELLERS: Basic, Essential 2-Person Emergency Survival Bag
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Earthquake Kit
There are many factors to consider when shopping for an earthquake kit, including the number of people it supports, the amount of food and water it includes, and the first aid supplies it offers.
Earthquake kits include different supplies to meet the needs of varying environments. If you live in a rural area, you may be cut off from utilities and emergency services longer than someone in an urban area. You may need a more comprehensive kit that includes a gas camp stove, freeze-dried food, and fire starters.
Those in an urban environment may need a compact kit that’s easier to store in a smaller living space. Urban areas also experience more damage than rural areas, causing harmful dust to accumulate in the air, so you may need masks. More buildings increase the chance debris will trap you in your home. In this case, a whistle is an essential tool to alert rescue workers to your presence.
Number of People
Survival kits include supplies for a specified number of people. Most kits provide three days worth of rations for individuals, couples, or families of four. Make sure you read what a kit is rated to handle before making a purchase.
Size and Weight
All survival kits come in backpacks you can carry with you. That said, the size and weight of these packs varies. A large kit for a family of four can weigh as much as 20 pounds. A smaller bag will carry enough supplies for one person and weigh about 10 pounds.
Food and Water
Water is a basic need for survival, making it one of the essential elements in an earthquake kit. The top kits will include enough purified water to meet the needs of a family. Look for kits that offer smaller, individual containers for easier rationing and less risk of water waste.
Earthquake kits include emergency food rations that offer high calories in small packages. The food ranges from protein bars to freeze-dried meals that require water and a cooking stove to prepare.
In the aftermath of an earthquake, you likely won’t have electricity, meaning you may have to navigate damaged buildings in the dark. This increases the likelihood of injury. With limited access to emergency services, you may need to fend for yourself. A good earthquake kit will include first aid supplies for dealing with everything from minor cuts and abrasions to more serious sprains and breaks. A good kit will have bandaids, bandages, pain killers, swabs, anti-bacterial medication, gauze pads, and rubber gloves.
Many earthquake kits include survival gear to protect you from the elements, navigate debris, and cook. These additional supplies include compasses, knives, flashlights, multi-tools, emergency whistles, heavy-duty gloves, emergency blankets, ponchos, fire starters, safety goggles, and even gas camp stoves. Some emergency kits include items for shelter, such as a tent and sleeping bags. Smaller kits include only basic supplies, like a flashlight or knife, larger kits include a full slate of gear.
Most earthquake kits come packaged in a backpack. These bags are portable and made with durable materials. Larger kits feature bags with ergonomic padded straps for comfort and external pockets for organization. Some include enough space for additional supplies, such as an extra change of clothes.
Earthquake kits have a use-by date. Some of the supplies, like batteries, food and water, cannot be used once they get too old. Purchase a kit that will give you the longest shelf life for the price. A good earthquake kit should have a shelf life of 5 years or more.
Our Top Picks
These recommendations include large kits for families of four and compact kits for individuals from some of the top makers of disaster relief products.
This survival pack from Emergency Zone has plenty of essentials to help you endure the aftermath of an earthquake. Stocked with supplies for three days, the 16-pound kit includes high-calorie ration bars that don’t require heating or rehydrating. Purified drinking water comes in single-serve packets for easy rationing.
This kit, which fits into a backpack, also provides shelter with a tube tent, sleeping bags, hand warmers, and emergency ponchos. Other supplies include work gloves, a water purifier, a multitool knife, a flashlight, an AM/FM radio, and essential toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo. A guidebook covers emergency plans and lifesaving techniques, while a 118-piece first aid kit can take care of minor injuries. With a 5-year shelf life, you won’t have to replace this kit frequently.
You don’t have to invest a lot of money to be ready for the next tremblor. This emergency kit backpack comes with enough supplies to sustain four people for 72 hours.
It includes four 1-liter cartons of drinking water and four 2,400-calorie food bars to fulfill hydration and nutrition needs. A 107-piece first aid kit fits in a zip-up pouch and comes with essentials to handle cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries.
This kit also includes essentials for dealing with debris, including dust masks, safety goggles, and work gloves. Other supplies include light sticks, emergency blankets, and personal hygiene supplies. With a 5-year shelf life, you won’t need to continually replace this kit. These supplies fit into a backpack that is easy to grab in an emergency and weighs 19 pounds fully packed.
If you’re looking for the basics to get you through the immediate aftermath of an earthquake or other natural disaster, this pack with absolute essentials is a good option. It has enough supplies for a single person to cover three days. A 2,400-calorie food bar and six water pouches supply enough nutrients and hydration to get through 72 hours. A survival blanket and poncho provide shelter from the elements.
A 33-piece first aid kit covers minor injuries. A dust mask, a poncho, and a survival blanket will help shield you from the elements, while a whistle and a 12-hour light stick allows you to signal for help. This kit, which weighs just 4 pounds, fits into a small backpack that’s easy to grab in an emergency.
For longer-term survival situations, you need something more substantial than protein bars to sustain you. This survival pack includes 38 freeze-dried entrees and six pouches of water, giving you enough hydration and food to cover a full five days. This kit includes a camp stove with fuel tablets for cooking and heating.
The kit also includes a flashlight, and a 42-piece first aid kit to treat minor injuries. A poncho and a Mylar emergency blanket offer protection from the weather. The kit fits into a camouflage backpack with room for an extra set of clothes. It weighs about 10 pounds. Padded straps add comfort while external pockets allow you to organize your gear. There’s even a deck of cards to give you something to do while waiting for normalcy to return.
A survival situation in a remote area means limited access to emergency services, drinking water, and other essential provisions. This comprehensive survival kit from Sustain takes a backwoods camping approach to survival. It features real food and the means to cook it with a gas-powered portable stove and cookware. With 24 servings of food, you have enough to feed four people for three days, or fewer people for longer.
There are two 24-unit cartons of purified water and a basic first aid kit. It contains fire starters and a ferrocerium rod to aid in building a fire. LED lanterns and glow sticks provide emergency light sources, while emergency blankets offer protection from the elements.
A large backpacking-style backpack with adjustable straps and multiple pockets allows you to organize all your survival equipment. This is one of the heavier survival kits on the market at 27 pounds.
If you live in the city, you may not have the space to devote to doomsday prepping. That doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for the next earthquake. This compact kit from Sustain features the essential supplies you and your partner need to get through that first 72 hours. This kit includes 12 containers of purified water totaling 1.5 liters, and two protein bars.
You don’t want to be left in the dark in an urban setting, and this kit includes a powerful LED lantern and snap lights. Moving around in a city following an earthquake can be hazardous, so this kit contains first aid supplies to treat minor injuries. Two emergency blankets provide warmth during power outages. All of these supplies fit into a backpack that weighs less than 10 pounds.
The Advantages of Owning an Earthquake Kit
Assembling your own supplies for the day an earthquake hits is an option, but an earthquake kit offers several advantages. While your kitchen pantry may have everything you need to survive for days, that matters little if you have to evacuate quickly, or if you’re on the road. An earthquake kit packs all the necessities for survival into a backpack you can throw over your shoulder when the need arises. It’s easy to take this kit with you on road trips or camping excursions, too.
You also don’t have to worry about forgetting essential provisions. Earthquake kits are designed by companies that specialize in disaster relief, so these prefab kits won’t omit crucial items. Most earthquake kits have a shelf life of five years, so you don’t have to worry about monitoring each component’s use-by date.
- An earthquake kit is easy to grab in an emergency or take with you on trips.
- The pros put these kits together, so you can count on them to include the essentials for survival.
- Earthquake kits have a long shelf life for the entire kit.
FAQs About Your New Earthquake Kit
If you’re wondering whether you need an earthquake kit, what items should be in it, or where you should store your kit, then read on for answers.
Q. Why do you need an earthquake survival kit?
If you live on the West Coast or even in certain high-risk areas, you need to be ready for a severe earthquake that can cause utility outages and widespread damage. Such an event can overwhelm emergency services and utility companies, forcing you to go it alone for several days. An earthquake survival kit will include all the necessities you need in one small, easy-to-access bag.
Q. What should be in an earthquake kit?
An earthquake survival kit should have all the essentials for survival. This includes several days worth of water and non-perishable food for each person in your family, first aid items for treating minor to moderate injuries, shelter in the form of ponchos, emergency blankets or a tent, and survival tools, such as a multi-tool, a knife, a flashlight, and fire starters.
Q. Where should I store my earthquake kit?
Short of keeping it strapped to your back 24/7, there is no perfect place to store an earthquake kit. Your best option is to store the kit in an easy-to-access closet in your home. You should be able to grab it and go, without having to move other items around to get to it.