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About Earthquakes Are You And Your Home Earthquake-Ready? Are You At Risk Of An Earthquake?
Are You Prepared For An Earthquake? Building An Earthquake Emergency Kit California Is Not The Only Earthquake Zone
Checking Your Home And Surroundings After An Earthquake Coping after an Earthquake Earthquake Kits For All Locations
Earthquake Kits for Pets Earthquake Preparedness Earthquake Survival Kit: Off-The-Shelf or Do-it-Yourself
Earthquakes And The Damage They Cause Earthquakes? But I Don't Live in California; Do I Have to Be Prepared? Emergency Kits and Earthquakes
Emergency Packing For An Earthquake How to Survive After an Earthquake How to Survive during an Earthquake
Infrastructure Damage After An Earthquake Internet Resources - Earthquakes Living In An Earthquake Zone
Locating Earthquake Survivors Long Term Planning after An Earthquake Making Preparations For An Earthquake
Nuclear Power Plants And Earthquakes Once The Shaking Stops: What You Should Do After An Earthquake Physical Attributes of An Earthquake
Prepare for An Earthquake Preparing for an Earthquake Preparing For The Worst Before The Earthquake
Protection During An Earthquake Surviving a Building Collapse Surviving a Structural Collapse
What To Do Before and After an Earthquake What to do During an Earthquake What To Do Immediately After An Earthquake

What is an Earthquake

An earthquake is the sudden movement of the earth's crust, created by the release of built-up stress that has accumulated along geologic faults in the earth. Earthquakes can also be caused by movement of magma and other volcanic activity. There are geographical areas that are susceptible to earthquake activity due to their proximity to these faults, particularly in California.

To survive an earthquake in one of these areas, you should acquaint yourself with the causes and preparedness in the event of an earthquake disaster. You need to prepare for earthquake today!

Physical Properties:

Fractures in the earth's crust in which sections of rock have slipped past each other are called faults. The release of energy is in the form of low-frequency sound waves called seismic waves.

There are thousands of earthquakes occurring annually, but most are very weak and cannot be detected by human beings. They are, however, recorded by seismographs, which are instruments designed to detect the planet's vibrations and movements.

The seismic focus is the point where the earthquake originates. Directly above it, on planet's surface, is the epicenter.

Three types of waves that accompany earthquakes:

  • Primary (P) waves have a "push/pull" vibration.
  • Secondary (S) waves have a "side-to-side" vibration.
  • Surface (L) waves, named after the nineteenth-century British mathematician A.E.H. Love, travel along the surface of the planet's surface, and cause the major damage in an earthquake.

Note: P and S waves travel deep into planet, and reflect off the surfaces of its various geologic layers. S waves are unable to penetrate the liquid outer core of the planet

The sum total of the energy released by an earthquake is measured on the Richter scale. The Richter scale is as follows: Each increase by a factor of one corresponds to a 10X increase in the strength of a quake. Those above a factor of seven on the Richter scale are considered to be severe earthquakes.

Prepare for an earthquake disaster:

Securing possible hazards:

Education and elimination of hazards throughout your home or business reduces the risk of injury or death following an earthquake. Conducting a hunt for these hazards to identify and fix such items as unsecured televisions, heavy furniture, and unsecured water heaters will protect you proactively.

Develop a plan of action:

Planning in advance of a possible earthquake is the same as planning any event, such as a vacation. Emergency planning includes the evacuation and reunion detail, contains your out-of-state contact's name and phone numbers, states the location of your emergency supplies, and pertinent information.

Purchase disaster kits:

Disaster supplies should be purchased and stored in readily accessible locations at home, work, and in your motor vehicle. This can reduce the impact of an earthquake on you and your family. Disaster supply kits should include: food, water, flashlights, portable radios, batteries, a first aid kit, cash, extra medications, a whistle, and a fire extinguisher.


About Earthquakes Are You And Your Home Earthquake-Ready? Are You At Risk Of An Earthquake?
About Earthquakes

There are hundreds, if not thousands of sites that inform all of us about how to prepare why we
should prepare, what a disaster is and where to buy survival kits. What the sites do not always mention is the aftermath of a disaster. We watch the images on television and send money but what happens after we turn the television off or the new story of the day has turned to another bigger, better story. The images are burned in our About Earthquakesminds from Katrina and Haiti of people crying, looking for their loved ones and holding dead babies in their arms.
The New Orleans area early morning August 29, 2005 faced a nightmare that no one could have predicted. The storm surge breached the city's levees at multiple points, leaving 80 percent of the city submerged, tens of thousands of victims clinging to rooftops, and hundreds of thousands scattered to shelters around the country. Three weeks later, Hurricane Rita re-flooded much of the area. The devastation to the Gulf Coast by these two hurricanes has been called the greatest disaster in our nation's history. Louisiana, 5 years later is still rebuilding and people are living in FEMA trailers.

Haiti, 6 months later is still in ruins because most of the government buildings are gone and donations have not found their way to those that need them desperately. Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tent cities in Haiti.

One of the reasons it takes so long for funds and supplies to reach devastated areas is due to the lack of administrative services and coordination. If an area is destroyed as badly as Haiti was then there will be no post office, banks or people to do the coordination. Most of them will be busy trying to survive. Supplies to always keep on hand include emergency water supply, food supply and first aid kits.

Even though what happened in New Orleans was not an earthquake, the devastation is comparable. You can’t stop an earthquake from happening but you can make plans about what to do in the aftermath.

What is an earthquake?

An earthquake is the sudden movement of the earth's crust, created by the release of built-up stress that has accumulated along geologic faults in the earth. Earthquakes can also be caused by movement of magma and other volcanic activity. There are geographical areas that are susceptible to earthquake activity due to their proximity to these faults, particularly in California.

Earthquake zones
About Earthquake Charts
You may think you do not live in an earthquake zone but the reality is that earthquakes happen in the most unlikely places occasionally. We do not think of New England as an earthquake zone but Vermont and Maine have both experienced earthquakes in recent years.

Earthquake territory shows a chart of State and Territory maps produced by the United States Geological Survey. It is important to know if you are in an earthquake zone.


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Are You And Your Home Earthquake-Ready?deluxe survival honey bucket kit

Are You And Your Home Earthquake ReadyDespite predictions by scientists that a major earthquake probably will not occur in your area for hundreds of years, it would be foolish to depend on that for the safety of your family and home.  The monstrously destructive quakes in Haiti and Japan are reminders that these can occur often without any warning whatsoever.  Having emergency food and water, as well as alternative shelter and a first aid kit on hand will help you and your family survive regardless of the damage done to your home, but getting your home ready for a bad earthquake can save a good deal of misery and expense.

Examine The Outside And Basement

The first place to check is the foundation of your home.  If there are cracks in it, these could widen and split if a quake strikes.  Repairing these is a good first step and also make sure that your house is anchored to the foundation – many older houses are not, but this can be remedied with anchor bolts.  If you have a chimney, check to be certain that it is in good repair, and as with the foundation, repair cracks and replace missing bricks.  While you are in the basement, secure your water heater to the wall with straps.  It is also a good idea to make sure that the connections for gas and water that come into your house are flexible so that they will be less likely to snap during earth movement.

In The House Itself

Any large, heavy, upright pieces of furniture should be bolted to the floor or the wall so that they will not crash down on anyone during an earthquake.  Likewise, do not put picture frames or mirrors above sofas or chairs as they could fall off the wall onto someone beneath.

Child-proof latches have proven their worth in preventing small children from getting into spaces where they might find harmful substances.  These latches are equally good at keeping your kitchen cabinets more secure during an earthquake. The latches will prevent the cabinet doors from flying open and spilling the contents onto the floor.

Undoubtedly, your home contains expensive equipment such as computers, televisions, or stereos.  In order to prevent these from being destroyed during an earthquake, you might find it a good idea to strap these items to the table or shelf where they are kept.  A strap will allow you to move the object without trouble. First Aid

You And Your Family

Everyone in the family who is capable of moving on their own should understand what areas of the house are safest during an earthquake and which should be avoided.  They should also be instructed to get out of the house if possible, and how to place themselves in the ‘triangle of life’ if they find themselves unable to leave the building.  Have drills that address this subject, and if you have children, make the drill enjoyable so that the youngsters will be happy to do it.  In case the family is separated during the day, or at any other time, have two predetermined meeting spots – one right near the house, and one a bit farther off in the neighborhood.

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Are You At Risk Of An Earthquake?

are you at risk of an earth equake

There are hardly any sections of the United States that can be considered to be completely safe from earthquakes.  Possibly the safest areas are the upper Midwest and parts of Texas and Florida – all the rest of the country can be subject to earthquakes.  While the damage can be relatively minor, in regions such as along the middle of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, there is the chance of significant damage not only on the West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii, but also in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, coastal South Carolina, and the area around Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.  Earthquakes are among the most destructive and dangerous natural disasters and the best way to survive a serious earthquake is by preparing for it beforehand.

Why Earthquakes Occur

Most earthquakes are the result of the action of the earth’s plates against one another.  Some of these tectonic plates are grinding alongside each other, as is the case with California.  In other areas, often along coasts, one plate will be moving beneath another one.  The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan was caused by subduction.  The coast of Alaska is another subduction zone and very severe earthquakes are possible here. 

Faults are actually breaks in the earth’s crust and are also excellent places for earthquakes to occur.  Most faults are associated with the boundaries of tectonic plates, however the faults in the New Madrid area are isolated from plate boundaries and are something of a mystery.

Preparing For An Earthquake

A major earthquake will generally cause massive disruption of services as well as destruction of property and loss of life.  If you live where an earthquake is likely to occur, it is only wise to accumulate emergency supplies in case vital services are unavailable after a tremblor.  Make sure that you have enough water to last one week, which means a gallon per day per person – and do not forget to have some for pets!

If your home is destroyed or badly damaged, you will need an alternative shelter.  A quality tent is one approach to this, although even a tarp and plastic sheeting can go a long way to providing shelter in an emergency.  Make sure that emergency blankets are available and extra clothing.  A first aid kit will be a necessity.

Making Your Home Safer

Check for cracks in the foundation and chimney, and if any are found, patch them immediately.  All heavy pieces of furniture in the house should be bolted to the floor so that they will not be able to topple on anyone.  Do not put heavy items on shelves and do not put large pictures or other decorative items above couches or chairs.  Your water heater should have a belt around it to secure it to the wall, and make sure you know how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity.

Remember that if an earthquake does occur, try to get outside as quickly as possible – use a window if it is available.  If you are unable to get out, position yourself in the ‘triangle of life’ next to a large, substantial piece of furniture; if the building collapses, a small safe zone will be created there.

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The Triangle Of Life

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Are You Prepared For An Earthquake? Building An Earthquake Emergency Kit California Is Not The Only Earthquake Zone
Are You Prepared For An Earthquake?
Prepared for An Earthquake

Earthquake Zones In The United States

Basically everyone is familiar with the possibility of earthquakes occurring in California, Washington, and Oregon.  These states all encompass numerous fault lines and the Cascade Range snakes through Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and northern California.  This is a geologically active mountain range that gave us the spectacular Mt. St. Helens eruption.  Anyone living in this region should take measure to assure their survivability and that of their family should a major earthquake strike.

There is another earthquake zone in the US that few people think about and that is in the area of the New Madrid fault in Missouri.  This region experienced a very severe quake in the 19th century, and caused widespread damage to property.  Scientists predict that another bad tremblor could strike this area at any time.

Make Your Home As Ready As Possible

It would be impossible for most of us to retrofit our homes to be earthquake-worthy, but you can do some things that will minimize damage to your house and to its inhabitants.  The first thing to do is to check your foundation for cracks.  If there are any, fix them immediately.  If your home is not bolted to the foundation or slab, install anchor bolts.

Much of the injury during an earthquake is caused by heavy objects within the home falling on or sliding into people.  Do not install heavy pictures, shelving, or decorations over beds, sofas, or chairs.  Heavy appliances, such as refrigerators, can also be bolted to the floor.  If the danger is high of furniture such as couches shifting and injuring someone, these can also be fixed to the floor.  Keep breakable items on shelves closer to the floor, and caution family members to stay away from windows during a quake – shattering glass is very dangerous.

Providing For Your Family

Besides preparing your home, you should also make sure that your family will be able to survive with a minimum of disruption after a major earthquake.  Depending upon the severity of the quake, basic services can be interrupted for days, possibly weeks.  Will your family be comfortable during a prolonged emergency? 

Water is a basic necessity and your water supply may be cut off if mains are broken from an earthquake.  Storing water is an excellent idea, and bottled water can be kept for quite some time.  You can also get a counter top water filter that will allow you to filter available water during the emergency.

You will also want to have a supply of food on hand to see you through the difficult times.  You can assemble your own supply from canned or dehydrated food, or you can avail yourself of the convenience of an emergency supply kit.  These kits will provide adequate, and tasty, nutrition for varying lengths of time (depending on the size of the kit) and have a shelf life of up to 25 years.  If you have pets, have extra food put aside for them, too.

Make certain, too, that you have first aid supplies available to treat minor injuries that may result from the earthquake.  Keep extra prescription medications in the house, and a copy of the prescription, as well.

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Earthquake Emergency KitDeluxe Survival Backpack Kit

Living in a geologically active region like an earthquake zone will present challenges that must be met if a level of comfort and safety is to be maintained at all times. While most earthquakes are low on the Richter Scale and cause a minimum of damage, a large quake is always possible. Major disruptions to normal life are possible from a catastrophic quake, and it may take weeks, or longer, before conditions return to what they should be. Rather than expose yourself and your family to inconvenience, if not actual danger from a large quake, it is a good idea to assemble an ‘Earthquake Emergency Kit’ before you need it.

Earthquake Emergency KitFood And Water

Earthquakes can rupture water mains, leaving those who are dependent upon municipal water without anything to drink. Even if you have a well, pollution from sewage lines might contaminate it, leaving it unsafe. A good supply of stored water will keep your family safe from organic pathogens and chemical pollution.

An emergency food supply is also essential if you live in an earthquake zone. You should choose a kit that will provide at least one week of food for everyone in your family. These kits are easy to store and are a great way to prepare for an earthquake emergency. If you have pets, be sure to have extra food put aside for them, too.

Shelter and Heat

It is not uncommon for homes to be rendered unfit for habitation or even completely destroyed by a major earthquake. Living in an earthquake zone means that it is possible for this to happen to your home. Rather than have to sit unprotected while waiting for relief efforts to reach you, having a tent on hand can house you and your family in some comfort. You should have some emergency blankets, at the very least, stored with your tent.

There are a number of emergency heaters that can provide warmth when regular heating is unavailable. Be sure to follow all safety recommendations for these heaters, and store fuel for them in a safe spot, away from children and pets.

First Aid
First Aid Cabinet
A disruption like an earthquake is only too likely to result in injuries. Having a first aid kit on hand will help you to treat any minor injuries that may occur as a result of the earthquake. As more serious injuries may occur, it would also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with techniques that can help keep someone stable until emergency medical services can arrive. Knowledge of how to treat broken limbs and head injuries can be valuable while you are waiting for professional help.


Conditions after a large earthquake can be uncertain, and sometimes people will try to take advantage of the situation. Be sure to provide some means to protect yourself and your family after an earthquake has occurred – pepper spray, tasers, stun guns, or actual firearms can all provide a measure of security, as can the family dog.

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California Is Not The Only Earthquake Zone

While most of us have heard of the San Andreas Fault and the disastrous earthquakes that could spawn from it, there are other areas, outside California that pose threats just as serious.  There are faults located throughout the United States that are also capable of producing serious earthquakes that could cause widespread damage and have the potential for causing massive loss of life.  The notoriety that accompanied the San Francisco Fire, which was caused by an earthquake, has undoubtedly contributed to the idea that most earthquakes occur in California.  However, there are several other zones where the threat is just as high, if not higher.

Salt Lake City

The nearness of Salt Lake City to the Rocky Mountains has placed it right over the Wasatch Fault.  There has not been a large quake from this fault since the arrival of the Mormons in 1847, but the potential exists for a quake with a magnitude of 7.5 to occur.  Scientists consider that the Wasatch Fault is long overdue for a bad tremor, and the situation will be made all the worse because of the soft soil conditions existing in Salt Lake City.   Basically none of the buildings in the city have been constructed with earthquakes in mind.

The New Madrid Fault Zone

The New Madrid Fault is located in Missouri and adjoining states and is something of a mystery to scientists as there are no plate boundaries near it.  This area was hit by earthquakes in the early part of the 19th Century, resulting in landslides and what might be considered small tsunamis on the Mississippi River.  The fact that loss of life was minimal was because not many people lived there at the time, a situation which has changed over the last several centuries.  The buildings in this area have not been made to withstand earthquakes.


America’s northernmost state sits along a subduction zone where two plates are colliding.  The Pacific plate is being shoved beneath the continental plate, leaving the area very vulnerable to earthquakes.  In 1964 a 9.2 quake struck, resulting in a loss of 128 lives in Alaska.  There was also widespread damage to property and infrastructure.  This quake caused a tsunami that was 220 feet high in spots, and even caused 11 deaths in California from a tsunami.  The Denali Fault is considered to be the site of the next serious earthquake here, and there could well be massive disruption of transportation should a big quake occur.  The Anchorage airport would probably be affected, and experts worry that the ground beneath it could undergo liquefaction.  When liquefaction occurs, the earth becomes more like a liquid than a solid.

Oregon And Washington

Surprisingly, the odds of a serious quake occurring are more likely in the Pacific Northwest than in California.  This area is affected by the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and as with Alaska, one plate is slipping beneath another.  This zone is 50 miles offshore, but if a large tremor strikes, it is likely that Seattle and Portland would be affected.  The chance for liquefaction of the hills above Seattle is great, in which case, cubic miles of mud would inundate the suburbs and city.  There is a potential for the loss of thousands of lives.

Anyone living in these areas would be well advised to not only stock emergency supplies, but also be sure that they have a viable evacuation route. Make sure everyone in your family knows an emergency plan as well as where the family emergency food supply and first aid kits are kept. You can never over prepare for an emergency.

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Checking Your Home And Surroundings After An Earthquake Coping after an Earthquake Earthquake Kits For All Locations

Checking Your Home And Surroundings After An Earthquake

When an earthquake strikes, the wisest thing to do is to get out of your home into the open as quickly as possible. There is the chance that your house will collapse, causing serious injury or death to those within. Once the primary quake is over, it is still best to remain outside, as there are always aftershocks and these can be nearly as strong as the first earthquake. When you are satisfied that the quakes are over, it still would not be advisable to move back into your home immediately – it is easy for damage to have been done to the structure and to the utilities entering it.

Assessing Your Home From The Outside

Before entering your home again, it should be thoroughly checked from the outside. Sometimes the damage is so profound that there is no question that it is uninhabitable, but at other times, the damage can still be severe, but not obvious. The first thing to look for would be cracks in the outside walls. If the cracks are wider than one eighth of an inch, there may be damage to the framing within the walls.

Take a step back about 25 feet and look to see if the building is leaning at all. Slight leans might not be apparent when you are standing right next to the house. While you are there, look to see whether the chimney is still undamaged, and whether the roof is warped or shifted. If you see any of the above signs, your building may be too dangerous to live in, and will need a building inspector to check it out.

Gas Leaks

If you use gas either for your cooking stove or for your heat, you will need to be sure that the lines going into your house are intact. If you hear hissing gas or smell gas, leave the area fast; gas is highly explosive. Call the company that supplies gas from a cell phone or at a neighbor’s house. You might be able to turn off the gas yourself, but it will need to be turned back on by service personnel from the gas company.

The Water Line

Water Preserver
If your water line has been broken by the earthquake, you will need to find an alternative source of water right away. Do not use any water from the tap. Hopefully, you will have an emergency supply of water available, or the means to filter it. You and your family will have to wait until the pipes are reconnected and the system checked for contamination before you will be able to use your tap again.

Sewage Lines

If the sewage pipes have been damaged, you will not be able to use the toilet, even if your home is otherwise habitable. Any damaged sewage lines can cause leakage into the emergency supply of water, too, so caution should definitely be exercised when using the tap water until the utility companies have made repairs.

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Coping After an EarthquakeHoney Bucket Kit

Disasters come in many forms depending on the area of country that you are in. Some disasters are man-made and some are caused by nature. Floods, earthquakes,  fires, snow or ice storms are some natural Coping After An Earthquakedisasters that can occur. Other incidents can be explosions, white powder incidents and nuclear reactor accidents that are more likely to be man-made. There is an emotional toll that can be more devastating than the loss of home, finances and personal property.

You may never be in the situation where you have to comfort someone but it will be useful to know what to do if you are. There was lots of need for crisis counseling and comforting during Haiti, Katrina and 9-11. Even though you may not be exposed to an incident that is that traumatic, you may also be involved with a friend or family member that has an accident or loses their house to a fire.

The emotional toll that an earthquake brings can sometimes be even more devastating than the financial strains of damage and loss of home, business, or personal property.

• Each person sees a disaster through their own eyes. What one person is experiencing may not be true to another.

• Feeling anxious and scared is a normal reaction.
first aid kit
• Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event.
• Acknowledge how you feel.
• Focus on your strengths and abilities. Think about what you CAN do, not what you can’t do.
• Accept help from neighbors and community organizations.
• Everyone copes differently.
• Everyone’s needs are unique.

Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster “second hand” through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected

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Earthquake Kits

Earthquake KitsEarthquake Kits for Your Home

Put together a home emergency survival kit
that can support 4 people for 3 days. The kit should contain emergency food and water, shelter, sanitation, first aid, lighting and communication devices. Place in an air tight & waterproof container.

Earthquake Kits for Your Car

Keep an earthquake kit
in your vehicle at all times. The kit should contain food, water, communication, lighting, first aid kit and shelter supplies. Keep items in a durable nylon backpack that will be light and easy to carry if you are forced to walk to safety.
earthquake kits
Earthquake Kits for Schools

The kit should contain food, water, communication, lighting, first aid kit and shelter supplies. Check with your children’s school and ask what their plans are if there is an earthquake.

Earthquake Kits for Offices

Place earthquake safety kits strategically around the office. Each kit should support 5 people for 3 days by including all of the emergency food, water, shelter, First aid kit, lighting, and communication supplies necessary for surviving at work after a major earthquake. Remember, after an earthquake, your building may be unsafe to occupy, stores will be closed, and roads will be down! This means that employees may be stuck at work for days if not weeks.

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Earthquake Kits for Pets Earthquake Preparedness Earthquake Survival Kit: Off-The-Shelf or Do-it-Yourself

Earthquake Kits for Pets

Earthquake Kits For Pets• Vacuum sealed dog food packets with a 5 year shelf life

• Water boxes that have a 5 year shelf life and can be used with collapsible bowls
• Reusable, waterproof, and windproof thermal blankets
• Emergency light sticks with lanyards
• Water purification tablets1 tablet purifies 1 liter. *Bottled water only has a six month shelf life

• Collapsible bowls that hold 40 oz. use for water and food
• Collars, leads & leash
• Sanitation bags so that you can maintain sanitary conditions in your temporary shelter area
• Vinyl chewable toys
• 50' of vinyl cord; create runner or tie down. Gives pets freedom to roam while keeping them close
• Emergency Pet Alert Sticker to put on door/window. Inform rescuers you have pets inside
• Package in flip-top waterproof container


earthquake kits for pets

• Cat food packets vacuum sealed for 5 year shelf life
• Water boxes that have a 5 year shelf life and can be used with collapsible bowls
• Reusable, windproof, and waterproof thermal blankets that can retain up to 90% of body heat
• Emergency light sticks with lanyards
• Water purification tablets - 1 tablet purifies 1 liter
• Collapsible bowls hold 40 oz. Ideal for water and food.
• Collar & leash so that you can keep your pet active and safe
• Sanitation bags so that you can maintain sanitary conditions in your temporary shelter area
• Furry mice and balls
• 50' of vinyl cord; create runner or tie down and allows pets freedom to roam while keeping them close
• Emergency Pet Alert Sticker to put on door/window. Inform rescuers you have pets inside.
• Package in a flip-top waterproof container

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Earthquake Preparedness


A little earthquake preparedness can have you ready for the thousands of earthquakes are registered each year.  The majority of them are minor.  Although all regions can be affected, the West is the region most at risk for earthquakes of large magnitude.  In the last century, at least nine earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater on the Richter scale were registered in that region, some causing extensive damage.  Even an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 on the Richter scale can cause significant damage in urbanized areas.  In fact, of all the natural disasters that can occur in our country, the one that would likely be most destructive would be a big earthquake in a major city. 


Quick Facts About Earthquakes and Preparedness
  • The earth’s crust is formed from numerous segments, large and small, called tectonic plates.  These plates are constantly moving at a very slow rate and can cause small tremors and earthquakes. 
  • Shallow cracks may form as a result of a landslide or other land disturbances. 
  • Buildings do not always necessarily collapse. 
  • It is impossible to predict an earthquake, so... prepared. 

What To Expect During an Earthquake


Earthquakes of Small or Medium Magnitude
  • They last only a few seconds and don’t usually pose too much of a danger. 
  • Sometimes, certain ceilings will shake and some objects may be slightly shaken.
  • If you are outside, you may feel a slight trembling beneath your feet.
  • If you are near the epicenter of the earthquake, you may hear a loud bang followed by the ground shaking.
Earthquakes of Large Magnitude
  • They may last several minutes and constitute a natural disaster if the epicenter is in the proximity of a densely populated area or is of a magnitude sufficiently large for that region.
  • The floor or ground will move, possibly violently.
  • Regardless of your proximity to the epicenter of the earthquake, you’ll likely feel shaking followed by a rocking motion, as if you were at sea.
  • If you are located away from the epicenter, you may see buildings sway or hear a roaring sound.
  • You could feel dizzy or incapable of walking during the earthquake.
  • If you live in a high-rise building, you’ll feel more swaying but less shaking than a lower, ground level building.  Lower floors will shake more (comparable to single-family homes) and upper floors will shake less but sway more.
    • Furniture and other unattached objects could tip over or slide across the floor.
    • Unsecured light fixtures and ceiling panels could fall.
    • Windows could shatter.
    • Fire alarms or sprinkler systems could go off.
    • There may be power outages.
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Homemade Earthquake Survival Kit VS Purchased

Disaster supplies should be purchased and stored in readily accessible locations at home, work, and in your motor vehicle. This can reduce the impact of an earthquake on you and your family. Disaster supply kits should include: food, water, flashlights, portable radios, batteries, a first aid kit, cash, extra medications, a whistle, and a fire extinguisher.  Buy an Earthquake Survival Kit and to Ready!

earthquake ready kitEarthquake Survival Kit Essentials

Respirators to protect from inhaling fumes, vapor & gases.

    Air-supplied respirators – Alternate supply of fresh air.
Air-purifying respirators – Contaminated air is forced through a filtering system.

    Masks: N-95 – are NIOSH -National Institute Of Occupational Safety & Health Certified and were designed to filter 95% of particulate aerosols.
The N means not resistant to oil.

    Survival Book: Purchase a step by step, easy to read book that has information about how to survive.

Emergency Breakfast Supply

  •  Folding stove with fuel and portable solar oven
  •  9 hour mini candles
  •  60 hour pillar candles should be unscented.

They are known to drip less and because of their clean burning wax, they are smokeless.

  • Survival Candle: that burns for 36 hours
  • 100 gallon bladder with a siphon pump
  • Camper's shower will let you shower and wash dishes. The container will heat water using the sun.
  • Filtration System that will filter up to 300 gallons of water.  Be sure it is light weight and easy to carry.  Portable propane heater/cooker and disposable propane cylinders can be used as a space heater or a stove for cooking.  Solar powered multi-band and short wave radio with cell phone charger will allow you to be in communication.  Purchase windup radio and flashlight instead of battery operated. Triage Kit

  Collapsible five gallon water jubs to store filtered water.

  MRE complete meals are meals ready to eat, self contained, ration in lightweight packaging.

  • Two meals per person per day
  • MRE heater

Light sticks will produce light without a power source.

Magnesium fire starters are designed to function under the most extreme conditions and will function whether it is wet or dry.

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Earthquakes And The Damage They Cause Earthquakes? But I Don't Live in California; Do I Have to Be Prepared? Emergency Kits and Earthquakes

Earthquakes And The Damage They Cause

Although for many years people believed the earth was like a shrinking baked apple, and all seismic activity was in the past, this is obviously not so. The crust of the earth, the top layer, is made up of plates that fit together something like a jigsaw puzzle.
Earthquakes And The Damage They Cause

These plates are in constant motion, rubbing and grinding against one another, and when the movement is large and sudden enough, an earthquake can occur. The boundaries between the plates are called fault planes, and when enough pressure has built up on the fault, the slippage of the earth will cause an earthquake. The interior sections of the plates, far from fault lines, are probably the safest areas, but even these places can feel mild quakes from time to time.
Earthquakes, Mountains, And Volcanoes

It is no coincidence that earthquakes will occur more in regions that are geologically active – the plates in these places are interacting in some way and will cause quakes and temblors. Old mountain ranges, such as the Appalachian Mountains are not subject to much activity, and quakes are rare near these mountains. It is newer mountain ranges like the Rockies and Cascades that will experience earthquakes. Areas where there is volcanic activity, where the hot magma from deep in the earth is pushing to the surface are also prone to earthquakes and the damage they cause. Make sure to always have an emergency kit in your car in case a disaster happens while you are on the road.

Damage Caused By Earthquakes

We are probably most acquainted with the immediate surface damage caused by earthquakes; it is easy to observe the knocked down homes and splits in the earth. Even if a home is not immediately destroyed, the damage caused by an earthquake can render it uninhabitable until repairs or done, and sometimes the home must be torn down anyway on account of massive damage. Water, gas, sewage, and electric lines can all be ruptured by the action of an earthquake, which will delay a return to a normal situation.

The shock waves from an earthquake can also cause tsunamis hundreds of miles across the ocean from the epicenter of the quake. Tsunamis can cause immense damage, depending on their size, and entire villages have been washed away by these destructive waves.
Roll And Go Emergency Kit

Landslides are another possibility when an earthquake occurs. The motion of the earthquake will cause the ground, in some cases, to actually ‘liquefy’ as it combines with ground water and slide downhill. Homes, trees, cars, and people can be swept along in these slides. Often, an unstable cliff face will collapse and cause a landslide, also. While driving, prepare anywhere you go by having a
car kit in your vehicle at all times. This should also include and emergency food supply a first aid kit and products that will help insure you have safe water to drink in case you get stranded. A great kit is a Roll and Go Survival Kit which includes everything from food to blankets and an emergency Radio with Flashlight.

Mudslides are another dangerous side effect of earthquakes. These will occur when the soil on a hillside is very wet, and the motion of the earthquake is enough to set the entire hillside in motion. There is little warning for a mudslide, and depending on the volume of the slide, homes and other buildings can easily be swept away and buried by the mud. Surprisingly, around twenty five people in the United States are killed by mudslides each year.

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Earthquakes? But I Don’t Live in California; Do I Have to Be Prepared?

Earthquakes are an alarming and destructive force of nature to be reckoned with. Provoked by sudden energy-releasing shifts in the earth’s crust, they cause widespread property damage, as well as significant injuries and fatalities. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, (USGS) more than 500,000 earthquakes occur worldwide every year. People can feel about 10,000 of these and around 100 damaging quakes strike annually.

In the United States, the most frequent serious earthquakes occur along the California bay areas. However, you aren’t immune to quakes by living elsewhere.

Fault lines and plate movement across the United States prompt earthquakes in many regions.

Hawaii: Other earthquake hot spots include Hawaii, which suffered a 7.9 quake in 1868, along with seven others of significance since that time. 250 million dollars in damages was caused by the most recent- a 6.7 magnitudeSurvival Preparedness Kit and Safety Supplies event in 2006 that destroyed buildings, prevented travel and left many without power and phone lines.

Alaska: An epic 1964 earthquake of 9.2 occurred in Alaska. Though damage from the quake itself caused upheavals of land (several as great as 38 feet), it was the 122 foot tsunami that claimed most of the 128 lives. Tsunami fatalities were reported as distantly as Crescent City, California, which sits over 1,600 miles away.

Alaska continues to experience strong quakes due to geological events related to the Denali Fault. A 30 mile fissure in 2004 which appeared after a 7.9 earthquake bears evidence of this. Geologists express concern for Anchorage, Survival Earthquake Kit the state’s center for transportation and commerce. Travel, both in and out of the state, could be seriously disrupted if Anchorage were affected. This could slow supplies and aid from timely arrival, as well as preventing evacuation.

Midwest: On April 18, 2008 Midwesterners were startled by the shaking of a 5.2 magnitude earthquake’s effects. Though it was centered in southern Illinois, residents as far away as Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa reported feeling the quake. Minor property damage was sustained in several middle states and one building in St. Louis suffered severe damage. Many in the Midwest were shocked to learn they live within close proximity to a network of active seismic zones. In recent history, the New Madrid fault has produced diminutive quakes, many of which were too slight to be noticed.

First Aid Kit for Safety Preparedness

First Aid Travel PouchHowever, in 1811 and 1812, a series of 7.0 quakes rocked the area, even causing far off church bells on the eastern coast to ring. There exists potential for a future serious earthquake, though pinning a time table on quake events is a complex process. Some estimates predict a 7-10 percent risk of a 7.5-8.0 in the next 50 years. Most concerning is the lack of building compliance and community preparedness that could claim countless lives in this region.

Utah: Earthquakes of significance can occur in mountain areas, as well as coastal and flat Midwestern areas. Over 80 percent (1.6 million) of Utah’s population lives with 15 miles of one of the longest active faults in the U.S., the Wasatch Fault. This impressive multi-segmented 240 mile fault line cuts a north/south path through the state and is responsible for one severe 7.5 magnitude earthquake roughly every 350 years. Many geologists believe the area is overdue for a serious event, though probability is difficult to predicate.

Pacific North West: Located 50 miles off shore of Oregon and Washington (as well as British Columbia) lies the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This geological nightmare, according to researchers, is very capable of causing an earthquake of 9.0 as it has in 1700. Affected would be the major cities of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver as well as other coastal areas hit with resulting tsunamis. Devastation could be horrific due to building structure and dense population of these metropolitan spots.

For most people, thankfully, the likelihood of experiencing Earthquake Survival Kit a serious earthquake is minimal. But d72 hour packon’t underestimate preparation for your family.Even minor earthquakes can represent a hazard to human life. Shaking buildings, falling objects and shifting to pose a threat in any quake scenario. In addition, severe earthquakes can produce slope failures, soil liquefaction and flooding, as well as utility failure and fires from gas line ruptures.

Earthquakes can strike without warning, day or night and are common occurrences. Though the average length of time for a quake is only a few moments, its effects can be felt for a lifetime. The USGS puts this data another way- “There is a 100 percent chance of an earthquake today.” Are you ready?

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Emergency Kits and Earthquakes
This particular guide is geared towards putting together a disaster preparedness kit for earthquakes.However, this list can be used for anytime of natural disaster.All of the items in this kit should be stored in waterproof containers and in a safe, secure environment.Remember, you need to have access to it in case of disaster.A vehicle, basement, and attic are also good places to store emergency kits.
Additional items to consider that are supplemental to the lists below would include copies of important papers, prescription medication, important phone numbers, spare keys, calling cards, etc. Essentially, it is wise to have an emergency kit packed and ready to go with all of the needed supplies to take with you if you have to evacuate your home.For information on survival supplies, visit

(specialized supplies and medicines may be required)

Leatherman (multi-purpose tool) and/or Pocket knife


Knife Sharpener

Saw (tree)

Pocket Chain Saw

Crow Bar

Claw Hammer

Cable Puller

Weatherproof Flashlight with extra Lithium or Alkaline batteries

Flashlight Wand (Red)

Chemical Lightsticks

Butane Lighter

Waterproof matches

Firestarter Kit

Sleeping Bags/Sleeping Pads


Tarp or ground cloth

Chair (folding camp style)

Work gloves

Hard Hat and Safety Goggles

Respirator(s) and/or Dust Masks

Bandanna or Cravant


Outdoor Work Clothing (ie: boots, jacket, climate appropriate clothes)

First Aid Kit (standard)

Emergency Splint

Variety of Bandages

Trauma Dressings


Latex Gloves

Emergency Medical Guide

Burn Kit

Water (Plastic Gallon Containers)5-10 per person

Water Filter or treatment system

1 week supply of emergency food

Drink Mix/Coffee

Sugar cubes/Salt/Pepper/desired spices

Stainless steel cooking/serving set

Camp Stove

Stove supplies such as fuel and maintenance kit

Small Grill

Toilet Paper/Portable Toilet

Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer

Packaged cleaning wipes



Towel and Washcloth


Glasses/Contacts (as needed)

Prescription Meds(as needed)

Multivitamins (as needed)

Sanitary Napkins/Tampons (as needed)

Important Papers

Spare Keys/Lock Combos, etc.

Money (small bills)

Calling Cards

AM/FM radio (battery operated)

Cooler (insulated)

Hand Cart

Fuel Siphon Hose

Gas Can

Parachute Cord (100 ft)

Nylon Utility Rope

Stainless Safety Wire

Cable Ties

Industrial Duct Tape

Electrical Tape


Aluminum Foil


Dish Soap and Towels

Freezer Bags (3 different sizes)

30 Gallon Garbage Bags

Notebook w/waterproof paper (Rite in the Rain)


Black or Orange Spray Paint

Do Not Enter Barricade Tape

Travel Games/Cards

Survival Manual

Contents List

Mountain Bikes (racks for supplies/spare parts)

SUV/Truck (park where least likely to get damaged)

Gas and Water Shut Off Wrench or Tool

Emergency Radio/ extra batteries

Flashlight / extra batteries

Bolt Cutters

Manual Can Opener

Cell Phone with extra battery

Alarm Clock/Watch



Electrical Generator

Extension Cord (Industrial Grade)

Special items for infants:


Stuffed Toys

Baby Blanket

Baby Carrier (if applicable



Bottles, formula, baby food (as needed)

Special items for pets:

Food and water bowls

Leash, cage, chain


Manually operated Osmosis Desalinator (for those who live near the ocean)

Gas Powered Chain saw and supplies

Plastic for covering windows

Wood Lath (covering windows)

HD Staples and/or nails

Measuring Tape


Step Ladder

Extension Ladder/multipurpose folding ladder

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Emergency Packing For An Earthquake How to Survive After an Earthquake How to Survive during an Earthquake

Emergency Packing For An Earthquake

What is an earthquake? Deluxe Backpack Kit

An earthquake is the sudden movement of the earth's crust, created by the release of built-up stress that has accumulated along geologic faults in the earth. earthquakes can also be caused by movement of magma and other volcanic activity. There are geographical areas that are susceptible to earthquake activity due to their proximity to these faults, particularly in California.
Emergency Pack For Earthquake

Physical Properties: Fractures in the earth's crust in which sections of rock have slipped past each other are called faults. The release of energy is in the form of low-frequency sound waves called seismic waves. There are thousands of earthquakes occurring annually, but most are very weak and cannot be detected by human beings. They are, however, recorded by seismographs, which are instruments designed to detect the planet's vibrations and movements. The seismic focus is the point where the earthquake originates. Directly above it, on planet's surface, is the epicenter.

Three types of waves that accompany earthquakes:
•    Primary (P) waves have a "push/pull" vibration.
•    Secondary (S) waves have a "side-to-side" vibration.
•    Surface (L) waves, named after the nineteenth-century British mathematician A.E.H. Love, travel along the surface of the planet's surface, and cause the major damage in an earthquake.

Note: P and S waves travel deep into planet, and reflect off the surfaces of its various geologic layers. S waves are unable to penetrate the liquid outer core of the planet

The sum total of the energy released by an earthquake is measured on the Richter scale. The Richter scale is as follows: Each increase by a factor of one corresponds to a 10X increase in the strength of a quake. Those above a factor of seven on the Richter scale are considered to be severe earthquakes.

To survive an earthquake in one of these areas, you should acquaint yourself with the causes and preparedness in the event of an earthquake disaster. You cannot stop the earthquake from coming but you can understand and ACT!

Prepare your family before
•    Have an earthquake survival kit on hand.
•    All family members should know how to turn off gas, water, and electricity.
•    Plan family emergency procedures, and make plans for reuniting your family.
•    Know emergency telephone numbers (doctor, hospital, police, 911, etc)
•    Anchor heavy objects to walls (bookcases, wall units, mirrors, cabinets, etc.)
•    Never place heavy objects over beds, and keep heavy objects lower than head height of shortest member of family.

What types of containers are safe for storage? 25 person first aid kit
•    Food grade plastic or glass containers with tight fitting screw-on caps
•    2-liter soda bottles and other water or juice containers.
•    New plastic containers for water storage can be found in local stores.
•    Only purchase containers labeled for storage of food or beverages.
•    Containers not labeled for food or beverage storage could release harmful chemicals into the water.


Containers that have held toxic substances, because trace amounts may remain in the container's pores

Containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles

Older glass jars may contains lead

Wash the containers and lids thoroughly with hot tap water and dish detergent then rinse thoroughly with hot tap water. You do not need to boil water before storing it.

How to treat the water for storage

To treat water for storage, use liquid household chlorine bleach that contains 5.25% available chlorine.

Do not use bleach with soaps or scents added. Add the unscented bleach to water, stir and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Always use a sterile dropper. The treated water should have a slight chlorine odor. If it does not, then repeat the process.

4 drops of bleach per quart or liter of water
8 drops of bleach per 2 quart, 2 liter or ½ gallon of water
16 drops of bleach, ¼ teaspoon per gallon or 4 liters of water 

How long should I store the water and for how long?

Containers should be stored in a cool and dry place because containers can degrade over time due to heat and light. Hydrocarbon vapors can penetrate polyethylene plastics so store water in plastic containers away from gasoline, kerosene, pesticides, or comparable material.

A gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds so make sure the shelves or area in which you store the water is strong enough to support the weight.

For commercially bottled distilled or drinking water, check the label for an expiration date. If not, mot should have a shelf-life of at least one year.

Another way to store water is to place it in a container in the freezer. It will help to keep frozen foods safe until power is restored. Leave 2 to 3 inches of air space in the top of containers before freezing. This will keep the container from breaking as water expands during freezing. Do not use glass containers because they may break regardless of the air space that is allowed.

Purchase or put together a disaster kit: Disaster supplies should be purchased and stored in readily accessible locations at home, work, and in your motor vehicle. This can reduce the impact of an earthquake on you and your family.

How to put together an emergency pack

Items that you will need:
•    Backpack or storage crate
•    Bottled water
•    First aid kit
•    Cash
•    Flashlight
•    Matches/flint
•    Multi-purpose knife (Swiss Army Knife)
•    Sleeping bags or blankets
•    Non-perishable foods
•    Hand crank NOAA radio
•    Hand crank flashlight
•    Plates, cups and utensils

1.  Store enough food to feed your family for 72 hours or 3 days. Foods should be high in protein such as peanut butter or beans. Also store preserved fruits, energy bars and fruit juice. Avoid foods that will spoil quickly. Canned foods, preserved, dried or dehydrated foods can be stored. Be sure to pack a can opener.
2.    Store enough water for your family for 72 hours or 3 days. The average adult needs the minimum of two quarts. Store water purification tablets.
3.    Buy or make a first aid kit.
4.    Have some cash on hand in case your bank is not in operation.
5.    Include a hand crank flashlight or one with batteries in case the power goes out.
6.    Matches and flint in case you need to build a fire.
7.    Blankets, pillows and/or sleeping bags for each person in the family.
8.    Hand crank or battery powered NOAA radio to get up to date information.
9.    Multi-purpose knife that will be helpful in a variety of tasks.
10.    Plates, cups and utensils.

*Check and update the pack and replace expired foods, broken containers or batteries.
*Store the pack in an easy to reach location.

People with special needs should:
•    Create a support network.
•    Let the people closest to you know your plan.
•    Give one member of your support network a key to your house or apartment.
•    Contact your city or county government's emergency information management office. Many local offices keep lists of people with disabilities so they can be located quickly in a sudden emergency.
•    Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to help identify your disability.
•    If you are dependent on dialysis or other life sustaining treatment, know the location and availability of more than one facility.
•    Show others how to operate your wheelchair.
•    Know the size and weight of your wheelchair, in addition to whether or not it is collapsible, in case it has to be transported.


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How to Survive After an Earthquake

Remain calm.  Help others if you can.
  • Prepare yourself to feel aftershocks.
  • Listen to the radio or television to receive instructions from emergency personnel, and follow those directions.
  • Return phones to their bases and only use the phone in case of emergency.Earthquake Preparedness Kit
  • Put on sturdy shoes and clothing in order to protect yourself from injuries caused by debris, particularly broken glass.
  • Check to see if your home has sustained any severe structural damage or for any other dangers.  If you think it is unsafe, don’t go in.
  • If you need to leave your house, bring your emergency kit and other essentials with you.  Place a message in an obvious location that states where you can be located.  Don’t waste food or water as supplies may be limited.
  • Don’t use matches or turn on the lights until you’re certain that there has been no leak of gas or other flammable liquid.  Use a flashlight to check these utilities and don’t shut them off unless they are damaged.  Leaking gas will usually smell.
  • If you still have running water from the taps immediately after the earthquake, fill the bathtub and other containers in case the running water fails.  If there is no running water, remember that you can draw water from the hot water tank (make sure its not boiling before you touch it) and the toilet tank (not the bowl). 
  • Don’t flush the toilet if you suspect a damaged or failing sewage system.
  • Carefully clean any dangerous material that may have spilled.  Wear gloves and appropriate eye-wear.
  • After ensuring your safety and the safety of your family, check on your neighbors.  Organize rescue efforts if people are trapped under debris or call for emergency assistance if you can’t help them without putting yourself in danger.
  • If you have any pets, try to find and comfort them.  If you have to evacuate, bring them to a shelter that you have located in advance and that you know will accept your animals.
  • If you need help, indicate that by placing a sign in your window with the word “SOS” or “HELP” in large writing.
  • Pay attention to after effects.  Although the earthquake may be the principle source of damage, its secondary effects can be just as destructive.  These effects may include landslide, liquefaction of sandy soils, floods in lowlands, and tsunamis (tidal waves).
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Survival Tips During an Earthquake: Knowing This Can Save Your Life

Imagine sleeping peacefully in bed, when suddenly the room starts shaking. Furniture begins moving and hanging pictures crash violently to the floor. Your home creaks and groans as the strength of its foundation is tested. What you do in the next few seconds can determine if you survive an earthquake.

Ranked as one of the most amazing phenomena of the natural world, earthquakes can be among the most deadly. While minor tremors occur under our global feet on daily basis without much notice, (in Southern California alone, about 10,000 happen each and every year) nearly all states have the potential to experience the shaking of a quake.

According to the US Geological Survey, only five states (Connecticut, North Dakota, Florida, Wisconsin and Delaware) did NOT sustain any 3.5 or greater earthquakes in a 30 year period. Don’t take these small geological events lightly. Even mild earthquakes can injure people due to falling objects or hazardous conditions.

Several areas, California, Hawaii, Alaska, Utah and Pacific Northwestern and Midwestern states, have added risks of devastating, cataclysmic earthquakes of 7.0 magnitude or higher. These can strike at any time, without warning. As with all survival techniques, earthquake survival must be learned prior to the event. This is especially important for travelers to keep in mind. Visitors to quake-prone areas may not be acclimated to earthquake tips and life saving procedures.

Earthquake Survival Strategies:
  1. “Drop, Cover and Hold On”- Earthquake related injuries in non-third world countries, are most likely to be from falling objects, rather than building collapse. Protecting your head is vital. In the scenario of being in bed when a quake hits, stay there and cover your head with a pillow if there are not any flying objects or falling hazards.
  2. When there are unsecured flying objects (glass, ceiling pieces, or light fixtures) that can strike you while in bed, drop to the floor and attempt to cover your body by crawling under the bed and holding on. The best way to stay alive is to be underneath heavy items and move with sturdy furniture. This allows for two essentials- shielding your head from falling objects and preventing you from being crushed between furnishings when they move.
  3. If there isn’t room to position your body beneath sturdy furniture, drop to the floor. Hold on to the furniture or a large heavy object, while getting as close to it as possible. Firefighters are trained to find individuals in survivable voids, such as those found around large items. (However, it should be noted that predicting these areas is not science. Being under an item is still your best option) However, you may find this practice offers a measure of safety if getting under an object is not possible. Hold on until the shaking ceases.
  4. Stay away from windows or heavy hanging items, such as light fixtures, artwork, etc.
  5. If you are cooking, turn off the stove. Then drop to the floor and crawl to a safe spot under furniture.
  6. Do not stand in doorways. According to Mark Benthien, Director of Education and Outreach at the Southern California Earthquake Center, it’s very likely you wouldn’t be able to stand during a strong quake and these areas offer little protection from falling objects. Additionally, swinging doors or shifting framework might add injuries, not prevent them.
  7. Buildings constructed to withstand earthquakes will be safest along interior walls. Those who live in other regions, such as the Midwest, may benefit from an inspection of their home prior to a quake for advice on shelter spots. Buildings with basements or crawl spaces, present unique structural safety issues during an earthquake. Ask an insurance risk advisor or a fire marshal for advice.
  8. Never use elevators and stairways during an earthquake.
  9. If you happen to be outside when a quake strikes, keep away from power line areas or structures that can fall. Get down low and stay still till the tremors stop.
  10. Those who are in a vehicle during a quake should take care not to stop on or near unstable spots, such as bridges. Avoid proximity to objects that can collapse. If you can, drive to an open area. Turn off the vehicle. Utilize parking brake and emergency flashers. Watch for further hazards and wait till it’s safe to continue. Remember, roadways may have suffered damage, so be alert to new dangers.
  11. If you do become trapped in your home or car, stay calm. Avoid yelling or excessive breathing of building dust. Instead, try to find an object to bang or knock on to alert rescuers of your position.
  12. Keeping a first aid kit, a ready supply of water and non-perishables and flashlight with batteries at hand is3 Day / 72 Hours Emergency Kit vital in areas with earthquake potential. Stash a flashlight and shoes or slippers near your bed. In the event an earthquake occurs, broken glass and uneven surfaces present a great risk to escaping the building.
  13. Be aware of aftershock potential, which may cause further damage. If the structure you are in seems unsafe, try to evacuate quickly and carefully to an open area once shaking stops. Never run out doors during a quake, you are very likely to be struck by falling objects and injured.
As with all potential hazards, awareness is the first step in survival. Be savvy to earthquake possibilities where you live and travel. Teach your family these tips and practice them with your children. Most quakes last a very short time. Living through those moments is far easier when you know the proper techniques for survival.

More Related Articles:

Preparing for an Earthquake

Earthquake Family Safety Preparedness
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Infrastructure Damage After An Earthquake Internet Resources - Earthquakes Living In An Earthquake Zone

Infrastructure Damage After An Earthquake

Not surprisingly, most people are concerned with the immediate damage to their family and home during and after an earthquake.  Basic survival will be the first order of the day as you and your family try to escape harm.  However, even if no one is seriously hurt and your home is at least still habitable, you may find that many services and elements of the infrastructure are simply not available, and may not be for some time to come.  How quickly conditions will return to normal will depend on the severity of the quake and the extent of the damage.

Services May Not Be Available

The large and violent movements of the ground caused by an earthquake will generally disrupt many of the services we have come to rely upon for our comfort.  Electric light poles are always vulnerable to damage and in most cases, after a serious tremblor, electric service will be severed.  No electricity means no lights, heat (in most cases), and no water – assuinfrastructure damage after an earthquakeming that the water mains are still intact.  Those who use land-line phones will probably be without service, as may those with cell phones if the relay towers have been damaged or toppled.  Natural gas pipelines could be broken, as well, presenting a danger of fire or explosion.

Problems With Transportation

Nearly all of our stores, including grocery stores, rely on food and other supplies being brought in by truck.  When an earthquake has struck, and supply lines may be impacted, you will probably be startled at how quickly the shelves are stripped bare.  A major quake can also damage local airports and train facilities, making it impossible for supplies to be brought in until repairs have been made.  Bridges can also be destroyed or damaged to such an extent that they will be unusable. 

Other Potential Trouble Spots

Other sections of the infrastructure can also be negatively impacted by an earthquake, such as power plants, especially nuclear power plants where the possibility of harmful radiation being released is present.  Dams are another possible danger source, and if you live downstream of a dam while living in an earthquake zone, you might want to make sure that your plans for evacuation have been made.  Facilities that process either sewage or hazardous industrial waste are other spots that might cause problems should an earthquake occur.

What Can You Do?

The best thing you can do if you live in an earthquake zone is to make sure that you and your family are prepared for the worst at all times.  You should have an adequate supply of emergency water on hand, and the means to purify it if necessary.  Food for at least a week should be safely stored in your home, and an alternate means of heating it, even a small portable stove, should also be in your emergency supplies. 

Make sure you have a first aid kit and supplies on hand to treat injuries and illnesses as emergency medical personnel may be unable to reach you right away.  Alternate shelter, such as a tent, should be available as well as emergency lighting and heating.  Have several hundred dollars in small bills stashed somewhere convenient, too.  And, lastly, make sure your car is ready in case evacuation is needed.  Plan several escape routes out of your area, too, in case your first choice is damaged.

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Information about Earthquakes: Six Earth Shaking Sites

Earthquakes occur worldwide every single day, yet no one can predict with certainty when or where the next one will strike. We have much to learn about these mighty forces of earthly nature and about protecting ourselves when a quake occurs.

From fascinating tips to hardcore scientific data, here six excellent sources for keeping on top of the latest seismic movements around the planet. Whether you are living in an earthquake zone, a survivalist who wants to keep abreast of potential dangers, or just plain curious –consult these sites for earth moving information:

Center For Earthquake Research And Information: CERI, as stated on their site, was “established in 1977, serves the University of Memphis by facilitating interdisciplinary research and education, and the public by providing authoritative scientific education and information”. That’s a mouthful for the fun ways CERI has meshed learning, geology and earthquakes together. CERI is a great spot for kids and families alike to gain info and useful tips.

United States Geological Survey: Learn where most recent earthquakes have occurred, gather safety information and glean interesting facts about quakes. The USGS is considered one of the top scientific sources for earthquake information. It’s fun to check out the section, “Today’s Earthquake Fact” to learn trivia and earth shaking data. The tab, “Hazards” will keep you current on aftershocks, regional and worldwide events along with vital safety alerts for those in earthquake belts. A must for travelers to bookmark! is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security.You’ll find their mission, “to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards” encompasses not only earthquakes, but also all natural disasters and acts of terrorism. Earthquake research, state quake resource sites and valuable tips, and photos are available. But most useful, perhaps, are the “Plan and Prepare” and “Recover and Rebuild” tabs that offer hands on “Do it Yourself” data for preventing loss of life and property as well as how to recover in the aftermath of any disaster.

The Great California Shakeout:There isn’t likely an easier and clearer website for earthquake preparedness out there. Discover Public Service Handouts (PSA’s) and articles to print and use, links to video simulations of earthquake potential, plus a wealth of quake safety topics. In addition to an outstanding, people friendly site, The Great California Shakeout also hosts and conceived an annual safety event, unlike any other. On October 15, 2009 at 10:15 a.m., over 10 million Californians simultaneously practiced “Drop, Cover and Hold On”- which is the standard for earthquake safety. Future Shakeouts are planned for the third Thursday of October every year. With a 99.7 percent chance of a 6.7 Californian quake looming in the next 30 years, those at the Shakeout are doing an incredible work educating and preparing citizens.

Southern California Earthquake Center:In a state that is subject to over 10,000 quakes a year, it shouldn’t surprise you that California is top dog in research headquarters. According to their website, “The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) is a community of more than 600 scientists, students and others at more than 60 institutions, headquartered at the University of Southern California.” If you are looking for studies, scientific work or facts a plenty, you’ll love this site. The many earthquake animations available to the public make this a thought provoking spot in and of its self. (Go to the tab, “Technical Resources” and click on “Animations and Movies”). For those moving to quake zones, you’ll want to download their valuable booklet, “ Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country”.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Following a quake or disaster, the health of citizens can fall prey to all manner of nasty illnesses and diseases. From physical concerns (like contaminated water) to emotional post traumatic stress of survivors, the CDC has info that helps prepare and recover effectively. You will find beneficial articles under “After an Earthquake” regarding aiding those who have special needs as well as coping with consequences of disaster. The CDC also provides doctors and clinicians with up-to-date information on specific medical concerns. During a natural disaster or health threat, the CDC regularly posts bulletins, so you’ll want to keep an eye on this helpful site.
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Living In An Earthquake Zone

Living in an Earthquake zone

Earthquakes occur in places where the plates that make up the crust of the earth are coming together.  Some of the plates will grind alongside each other, as is the case with the San Andreas Fault.  Plates such as these can be quiescent for long periods, building up pressure, then suddenly let loose with a major earthquake.  Young mountain ranges, like the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades, are formed because the plates are pushing up against one another, forming the mountains as they do so.  Many earthquake zones are lovely places to behold, which is probably why so many people live in them.  Probably a majority of the people who live in these spots take an ostrich-like outlook, pretending the risk is not there.  However, if you do live in a place where there is the possibility for a major earthquake, taking a few precautions can save your life and the lives of your family.

Making Your House Safer

Older houses are much more likely to suffer from earthquake damage than newer ones, but there are still things that you can do to prevent some of the damage than may occur with a quake.  Check your foundation for several things, the first of which is cracks.  Cracks are weak spots that will make your home more likely to sustain serious damage if there is an earthquake.  They should be repaired immediately.  You should also see if your home is attached to the foundation with anchor bolts.  These can be retrofitted if they are not there already.

Falling chimneys can cause a great deal of damage during an earthquake.  Not only can they damage the roof of the house, but bricks have even broken through the roof and injured the inhabitants.  The chimney of an older house should be reinforced to prevent this.

Large, heavy items in your home, such as couches, refrigerators, stoves, and other appliances can shift or topple during an earthquake.  It is always advisable to fix these items to the floor to prevent their moving and possibly hurting someone.  You should also strap your hot water heater to the wall to prevent that from toppling over during an earthquake.

Emergency Supplies

If you live in an earthquake zone, you should always anticipate that an earthquake can happen at any time.  Depending on the severity of the quake, you can lose your electricity and water, at the very least, and your home may also be rendered uninhabitable as well.  Stores may be emptied of food very quickly, and food that depends upon refrigeration will spoil.

Having an emergency supply of food and water in your home is one way of protecting your family’s well being after an earthquake.  If you own pets, emergency food supplies should also be kept for them.  You should also have a first aid kit on hand, to deal with minor wounds.  A tent, extra blankets, emergency lighting and cooking supplies will also make it much easier for you to survive in some degree of comfort after an earthquake.

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Locating Earthquake Survivors Long Term Planning after An Earthquake Making Preparations For An Earthquake

Locating Earthquake Survivors Roll And Go Disaster Survival Kit

Earthquakes are among the most destructive and damaging of natural Locating Earthquake Survivorsdisasters. When buildings collapse, it is all too probable that people will be trapped beneath the rubble. The earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand warn us of how quickly and unexpectedly earthquakes can happen. If you have any warning of an earthquake whatsoever, get yourself and your family outside as quickly as possible, and away from buildings or trees. However, if you are inside during an earthquake and the building does collapse, you should act quickly to free yourself and family members.

Assess Your Condition

Hopefully, if you w
ere inside when the earthquake
struck, you quickly got into the ‘Triangle of Life’ next to a sturdy piece of furniture. If your family has been instructed in this procedure, it may be that they are either unhurt or have sustained only minor injuries. You must first make an assessment of your own condition before you are able to help others. Although you may be somewhat stunned by the circumstances, try to decide if anything hurts, if there is any bleeding, and if you can move all your limbs.

If you are in reasonably good shape, you can try to extricate yourself from the rubble. Be very careful while doing this, and if things begin to shift, stop moving – you might bring more of the building down onto yourself. However, if you are able to get out, try to locate family members. Call out loudly and listen for replies or crying. Children will be very frightened and may cry even if they have not been hurt.

Family members who are near the surface can often be helped out, but do this carefully in order to prevent more collapse. Sometimes, it will be impossible for rubble to be removed without heavy equipment, and in this case you will have to wait for emergency services. Stay near trapped family members and talk to them to try to keep them calm. If possible, pass water and food to them.

Helping Neighbors

If you and your family are all right, and everyone has been able to get out, then it is time to turn some attention to the needs of your neighbors. The elderly, children, and sick people will require more help during this time, even if not trapped in debris.
First Aid Bag
Neighbors who have family members still trapped in a collapsed structure will appreciate any help you can give them, particularly help in digging out anyone caught inside. Be sure to call out loudly to attract the attention of
those trapped, and if you have a dog, even one that has not been trained for rescue work can come in handy in locating people. A dog’s hearing and smell are much more acute than ours, and a dog can often locate people too badly injured to answer a call.

Your first aid kit can be used to treat the minor injuries of your neighbors, too, and any knowledge you have of how to treat more serious injuries can be important as well.

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Long term planning after the earthquake

Deluxe Survival Honey Bucket Kit

Long term water, food and shelter will be needed after an earthquake if it is one that creates lots of destruction.

Keep in mind many of the agencies that are local may not be open if they were affected. As always, it is best to assume that YOU need to take care of yourself and your family and not rely on anyone else.

Applying for assistance after an earthquake

It may be that you need to apply for some type of assistance after a disaster strikes. There are billions of dollars available through many sources to help you get back on your feet. They will help you with living expenses, health care, housing, legal aid, college tuition and job training. You can also go to the 2-1-1 Call Center and search for your town or city and 211 will assist you in finding the resources you need.

Agricultural needs

USDA funds are provided to researchers to address national problems and needs related to agriculture, the environment, human health and well being, and communities

Department of Agriculture!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=usda_research_awards.xml

American Disability Act

Many resources can be found on the American Disability Act site. They have resources for health care, transportation, education and employment.

Health Care Assistance

Read through all of the sections in this chapter to give you a full sense of the kind of help that is out there--and then apply for anything related to your medical concerns. Remember, too, that many major medical illnesses
long term planning after earthquakes(cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.) have nonprofit groups (American Cancer Association, American Heart Association, etc.) that can help you to find not only information on treatments and doctors, but can guide you to special funds for expenses (when available). 


Often pharmaceutical companies have programs for free or discounted prescription drugs. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance and Free Medicine are two places where you can apply for assistance. Some doctors and hospitals have a sliding scale that will give you the opportunity to pay your bill at a lower rate. Also some hospitals have programs that you can barter for services or have your bills forgiven.

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Making Preparations For An Earthquake

making preparations for an earthquake

Living in California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, or the New Madrid Fault Zone can mean that you can be subject to an earthquake at nearly any time.  There are other ‘hot spots’ including parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada.  Although seismic devices have been set out by scientists in an attempt to predict earthquakes, there really is no reliable way to give advance warning for an earthquake.  Studies of the behavior of animals prior to a temblor have been inconclusive.

Emergency Supplies

An earthquake can cause major disruptions to the services that we have come to depend on for our daily living: water, electricity, and gas.  Once these have been severed it will be impossible to get water out of the tap, cook food, and provide heating or lighting.  While crews will be working right away to restore these, if the disaster is widespread it could be days or even weeks before normality returns. 

Water is the most vital necessity; no one can live without it for very long.  You should plan on providing one gallon of water per day for each member of the family.  You can buy bottled water or bottle it yourself.  

Besides water, you should also have a supply of non-perishable food available.  Once again, this should be adequate for at least three days, but the more the better.  It is quite easy to assemble your emergency food supply from the grocery store as long as you choose canned or dried food.  You can also use pre-made food kits and supplies, which have a shelf life of several decades.

As an earthquake can happen at any time of the year, it would be a good idea to have a source of emergency heating available, such as a kerosene stove.  Make sure that you not only have adequate kerosene for fueling the stove, but also that it is safely stored.

Your Home

There are a number of things that you can do to make your home safer and more secure during an earthquake.  Many homes built prior to 1940 are not attached to their foundations.  This can cause the house to easily slide off the foundation during an earthquake.  Anchor bolts can be used to secure the house to the foundation.  The foundation itself should be checked for cracks, and these should be repaired, as should any cracks in the chimney – these are all weak spots that will be exploited negatively during an earthquake.

Quite a few people are injured during an earthquake because of falling objects in their home.  Large cabinets, refrigerators, and any other large piece of upright furniture should be secured to the floor.  Do not put heavy items that could tumble off onto someone onto shelves, and do not hang heavy pictures or other objects over places where the family sits.

Make sure you know how to turn off the electricity, water, and gas, so you can prevent any possible harm from these sources.  Place a strap around your hot water heater to keep it from being knocked over during the quake.

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Nuclear Power Plants And Earthquakes Once The Shaking Stops: What You Should Do After An Earthquake Physical Attributes of An Earthquake

Nuclear Power Plants And Earthquakes

nuclear power plants and earthquakes

The United States gets approximately 20% of its electric power from nuclear power plants, and there are a bit over 100 of them in operation at the present time.  Most of these plants are found east of the Mississippi River, but several are also found on the West Coast.  California has several nuclear plants that have been built right along fault lines, such as the Diablo Canyon plant, which is adjacent to the San Andreas Fault.   These plants are said to have been built to withstand earthquakes of 7.5 magnitude, but what if a stronger earthquake occurred, say along the lines of the one that ruined the Fukushima power plant?  That quake measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, large enough to cause more than an ‘incident’ at the Diablo Canyon plant.


Besides ‘incidents’ that occur at nuclear plants, there are also the ‘near misses’ – problems so severe that they require the attention of Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  These incidents and near misses generally involve human error or equipment failure, and so far have not caused any serious problems recently, although Three Mile Island is still in the back of everyone’s mind.  However, if an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 7.5 strikes, will the result be what we have lately been seeing in Japan?

Besides the nuclear power plants sitting astride the San Andreas and other faults in California, there are also nuclear plants in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  This is an odd area containing faults that are not associated with the boundaries of crustal plates.  As with most nuclear power plants, those in this area are said to be safe from earthquake damage, but if you live near a nuclear power plant, especially in a geologically active zone, you will have to decide for yourself.

Preparing For The Worst

If, regardless of the information that has been put out by government agencies and the corporations that own the nuclear power plants, an earthquake does significant damage, you should be prepared ahead of tiHoney Bucket Kitme to take action.  A major earthquake, strong enough to damage the plant, will undoubtedly cause other damage to the area as well.  Some roads might be impassable and many major services, such as electricity and water will be lost. Make sure you have an emergency water supply in case your family does go through a water shortage.

Living within ten miles of the power plant will probably mean that you will have to evacuate.  You should listen to the radio to keep abreast of any announcements from your state’s emergency alert service on whether you should leave or stay where you are.  If you are staying in your home, seal it as completely as possible to keep radiation out.  Any clothing that may have been exposed should be removed and placed in a plastic bag.

The closer you live to the plant, the more likely it is that you will be told to evacuate. You should have already planned several ways out of your area to safety, in case one of the routes is unusable. Be sure to take along any prescription medications, too.  Keep the car windows closed and also close off the air vents. 

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Once the Shaking Stops: Do You Know How to Survive After an Earthquake?

During a widespread disaster, such as an earthquake, rescue workers will be extremely busy. You could be on your own until they arrive- possibly cut off from communication sources, without power or running water. Many experts believe 72 hours is a likely period before help is readily available if a large quake hit. Depending on the area and the damages sustained, your survival and those of family members may be determined by how organized you are in that crucial interim.

Earthquakes pose a different set of challenges from other emergencies. Shaky ground, falling objects, flooding and even soil changes make for a unique set of circumstances. Understanding these potential dangers will aid in your ability to minimize or prevent them.

Surfaces: Earthquakes cause objects to be pitched to the floor. Broken glass and fallen debris can be treacherous for walking. Keep flashlights and batteries in each bedroom. Because these items can be tossed about and lost during a quake, consider stashing them together in small boxes, with a pair of thick soled shoes or work boots. Wear a dust mask if there is excessive dust in the air.

Falling Objects: Be aware that items can tumble out of cupboards or closets when opened.

Aftershocks: These are a constant threat following an earthquake and can cause further, even more extensive damage. Once the initial quake has ended, move to an area free of falling debris as quickly as possible.

Injuries: Do a head count of family members and check for injuries. Use first aid kit to treat minor injuries. Don’t move seriously injured people unless a grave danger is present (fire, gas leak, collapsing building, etc). Administer CPR to those not breathing. Watch for shock or hypothermia. Cover wounded with clothing or blankets. Elevate feet if injured are cold, clammy, pale or exhibiting other signs of shock. Apply direct pressure for bleeding wounds. Talk reassuringly to those who are injured. Stay calm. Obtain medical assistance if possible for life threatening injuries.

Gas Leaks: Listen for hissing noises or the smell of gas. Open a window and exit promptly if you suspect a gas leak. If possible, turn off main gas valve (usually outside near meter). Most frequently, you’ll need a crescent wrench for this. Don’t re-enter until gas is turned off and the house is aired out sufficiently. Be aware, once you’ve shut off the gas, a professional must turn it back on. Never use open flame, (matches, lighters, kitchen stove) or do anything to create a spark (such as flipping light switches) in the presence of gas leaks. In urban areas, even close neighbors’ gas leaks pose a threat. Contact authorities to let them know of possible dangers.

Fires: Extinguish small, incipient fires with ABC fire extinguishers or blankets (preferably water soaked). Incipient fires are minor flames that can easily be put out with one or two extinguishers. When fighting any fire, keep the exit behind you, so you aren’t boxed in and trapped. Never attempt large fires. Evacuate if fire spreads, isn’t easily contained or is an explosion hazard (if it travels to an area with flammables).

Electrical Hazards: Sparks are an easily identifiable concern. Less obvious threats are frayed cords, broken wires, warm walls, appliances that shock, and hot insulation. Check for any of these after a quake. Shut electricity off at the main fuse box or throw the circuit breaker if hazards are present. As always, don’t mix water and electricity. Never stand in water to throw breakers or check frayed cords. Snapped or downed power lines are deadly situations following an earthquake. Keep far away from these.

Damaged Buildings: Never go into buildings that suffered obvious damage unless cleared by rescuers or professionals.

Chemicals: Spilled household products, such as bleach and toilet bowl cleaner, can produce deadly fumes. Be cautious when cleaning up any chemical. Ventilate the area well prior to clean-up. Fumes, a “smoky” look to the air, lightheadedness or changes in behavior are signs to evacuate promptly.

Food: If you have no power, start consuming refrigerator contents and work your way to the freezer. If there are no gas leak hazards, you could attempt heating items with a charcoal grill outside or using a sterno can to warm food. Pre-planning for this by having a well stocked emergency kit is essential. Never use any food that has been in cracked glass containers or has been exposed to broken glass.

Water: Place ice or popsicles from freezer in containers to use for additional drinking water as they melt. Drinking water could be your biggest challenge. With this in mind, ration water stores. In an emergency, water can be obtained from canned vegetables or fruit, soups, draining the hot water tank or even a pan placed outside to catch rain water. If you have a water source and a means to heat it, boil for one minute and store in containers with lids. Or use 8 drops of bleach (unscented) to 1 gallon of water. Let stand 30 minutes before drinking. (Remember, bleach will kill most germs, but not all.)  Always let murky or cloudy water settle, then filter by straining through clean cloths before disinfecting.

Shelter: If your building is safe, stay put. Keep your family in areas where hanging objects don’t present a hazard in case of aftershocks. Homes that aren’t secure require evacuation.  If roads aren’t passable to get to a deemed shelter, options are neighbors homes, vehicles, (make sure these are not parked near buildings or objects that can fall) or constructing a lean-to out of garbage bags or waterproof tarps and duct tape.

Sewage: It’s very likely sewer lines will not work or become backed up. Don’t attempt to flush the toilet as sewage may overflow into your home. Put plastic bags over the toilet seat and remove bags when full of waste.  You can also use five gallon buckets or outdoor trenches as a makeshift latrine. There is nothing worse than sitting out a disaster for three or four days with raw sewage, so think ahead about this factor.

Flooding: Following an earthquake, there is flooding potential due to ground alterations, broken water lines or dams and strong waves. Listen to the radio (if you have one) for updates, as well as watching for sudden changes. Those in low lying or coastal areas should know safe places of refuge, (such as high points around them) and be ready to evacuate instantly if necessary. In the event of abrupt flooding, grab anything that floats- wooden table, box springs, wooden doors, etc. Try to paddle to a more secure spot and hold on till rescued. Don’t wade into even shallow seeming water.

Tsunami: The sole reliable life-saving method to avoid killer tsunami waves that may come after an earthquake is to proceed immediately to high ground. However, only if you can’t get there, go to the highest spot available, such as a roof or a tall tree. Not all earthquakes generate tsunamis, but stay alert for the possibility.

For information on creating an emergency kit, see- “Preparing for an Earthquake”.

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Physical attributes of an earthquake

Fractures in the earth's crust in which sections of rock have slipped past each other are called faults. The release of energy is in the form of low-frequency sound waves called seismic waves. There are thousands of earthquakes occurring annually, but most are very weak and cannot be detected by human beings. They are, however, recorded by seismographs, which are instruments designed to detect the planet's vibrations and movements. The seismic focus is the point where the earthquake originates. Directly above it, on planet's surface, is the epicenter.

Types of waves that accompany earthquakes:

• Primary (P) waves have a "push/pull" vibration.

• Secondary (S) waves have a "side-to-side" vibration.
• Surface (L) waves, named after the nineteenth-century British mathematician A.E.H. Love, travel along the surface of the planet's surface, and cause the major damage in an earthquake.

Note: P and S waves travel deep into planet, and reflect off the surfaces of its various geologic layers. S waves are unable to penetrate the liquid outer core of the planet

The sum total of the energy released by an earthquake is measured on the Richter scale. The Richter scale is as follows: Each increase by a factor of one corresponds to a 10X increase in the strength of a quake. Those above a factor of seven on the Richter scale are considered to be severe earthquakes.

Surviving an earthquake

To survive an earthquake in one of these areas, you should acquaint yourself with the causes and preparedness in the event of an earthquake. You cannot stop the earthquake from coming but you can understand and ACT!


Duck And Cover
• Stay away from glass and hanging objects, large furniture such as china cabinets and bookcases

• Shield your face and head from falling debris
• Take cover under a heavy desk or table that can provide you with airspace
• Inner walls and door frames are the least likely to collapse
• Don’t use candles, matches or lighters if the lights go out – there may be a gas leak
• If you are in a high rise building get under a desk, stay away from windows and outside walls. Remain in the building and DO NOT use the elevators.
• If you are in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doorways.
• If you are outside, move away from utility wires and buildings
• If you are driving in your care, stop, move to the shoulder or curb away from overhead wires, under or over passes, utility poles. Stay in the vehicle, set parking brake and turn on radio to emergency broadcast information

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Prepare for An Earthquake Preparing for an Earthquake Preparing For The Worst Before The Earthquake

Prepare for an earthquake

Securing possible hazards

Education and elimination of hazards throughout your home or business reduces the risk of injury or death Earthquake Drillsfollowing an earthquake. Conducting a hunt for these hazards to identify and fix such items as unsecured televisions, heavy furniture, and unsecured water heaters will protect you proactively.

Develop a plan of action

Planning in advance of a possible earthquake is the same as planning any event, such as a vacation. Emergency planning includes the evacuation and reunion detail, contains your out-of-state contact's name and phone numbers, states the location of your emergency supplies, and other pertinent information.

Helping children cope with an earthquake

• Children will experience a range of emotions and may want to talk about the experience over and over again.

• One of the safest places to be during an earthquake or aftershock is in a school building.
• If you are at school when an earthquake happens remember that teachers are experts in what to do in case of an emergency.
• For many people, this mental activity reduces stress during and immediately following the shaking.
• Aftershocks are to be expected. Though aftershocks may be severe, they are not expected to be as strong as the original earthquake.
• Immediately following an earthquake or aftershocks, hugs can really help us feel safe again.
• Everyone will need opportunities to talk and listen to others. Parents, teachers, and friends, will want to hear about your feelings.
• Don't be afraid to ask questions and to talk about your feelings-your friends are probably feeling the same things you are.
• Get plenty of sleep and eat nutritious food.
• Bring a stuffed animal to school to be an "earthquake buddy."
• Remember that no matter how big an earthquake is your family or community will take care of you.

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How to Prepare for an Earthquake

WDeluxe Emergency Kite spend much of our lives preparing. Choosing colleges, buying a home or planning retirement, all require thought and planning. But how much time do we invest preparing for “worst case scenarios”? If the truth be told, many of us don’t devote nearly enough in this pursuit. Developing a plan for emergency situations, such as earthquakes, isn’t difficult nor is it arduous. In most cases, though, it’s equally as important as any other long-term preparations.

California is known for quakes, but nearly every state has the potential to experience the shaking of a moderate to severe earthquake- either originating within their state.

Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes and other serious situations, an earthquake gives no warning signs. When the shaking begins, it’s impossible to tell how severe the quake will become and far too late to prepare for its effects. Areas hit by earthquakes of 7.0 magnitudes and above, can undergo critical widespread damage to infrastructure and communications. Even a less intense quake in an urban area can suffer a high toll due to dense population, building conditions and poor planning. It is likely communities can be without power, drinking water and food for extended periods, even with minimal damages otherwise.

Buy an Emergency Survival Kit NOW!

Preparing for an earthquake in many respects is similar to all emergency planning. Providing food, water and shelter are paramount. Other areas, such as securing belongings or survival techniques for ground motion, are indigenous to this specific disaster.

Affordable Emergency Preparedness Pack

Economy Emergency Commuter Kit

Earthquake readiness tips are:

1.Learn the proper methods to survive. “Drop, Cover and Hold On” is considered by experts the best overall strategy for action during the quake. Earthquakes may knock you off your feet, so it’s best to drop down to the floor. Find a large heavy object to protect your head, (such as a table or desk) and crawl underneath. Quakes toss furniture around. Don’t become trapped between heavy items. Holding onto the item and moving with this will help prevent injury. Avoid windows, areas by large hanging items, elevators and stairways. Don’t stand in doorways or try to leave the building. Many injuries occur when people attempt to leave and are struck by falling objects. Stay low and protected. Teach your family this and practice in different scenarios around your home.

2.Fasten shelves to walls. Store heavy or breakables objects in closed cabinets, as low as possible.

3.Secure refrigerators, appliances, bookcases and other heavy items.

4.Anchor water heater by strapping to wall studs and bolt to flooring. Know where shut-offs are located and how to turn off all utilities. Train family members in this. Keep tools, such as crescent wrenches, available for this purpose.

5.Evaluate where hanging objects are placed. Mirrors, pictures or other wall hangings near seating or sleeping areas could fall and strike people. Arrange these items so they do not pose a fall hazard to those below. Brace hanging light fixtures.

6. Never store flammables or poisons near open sources of ignition, such as furnaces, water heaters or other appliances. The best place to keep these items is in a low latched cabinet away from flame potential.

7.Walk around property and evaluate structural defects like cracks or crumbling foundation. Repair these.

8.Keep emergency kits handy. Never store all your supplies in one location. If possible, keep supplies in several areas.
9. Emergency kits should contain:
  • Water - 1 gallon/per person, per day. Keep at least 3 days of water supplied.
  • Food- Choose non-perishable items, such as granola or energy bars, canned meals, tuna, or soups, peanut butter, crackers, trail mix. Infants or pets should have supplies as well. Include manual can opener, pot or pans for heating, paper plates/utensils and sterno cans for heating. BUT do not use any source of flame unless you are certain there is no risk of gas leaks. 137 Piece First Aid Kit
  • First Aid Kit with a manual. Bear in mind that rescue workers may not be able to reach you for extended periods of time. You may have to perform basic first aid, CPR and life saving skills. Don’t mince on your first aid kit for emergencies. Make sure it’s well stocked. Know how to use each item. Consider taking a first aid or CPR class in advance.
  • Blankets, warm clothing, gloves, dust masks, sturdy shoes. (store these in large, waterproof bags or containers)
  • Prescription medication, spare contacts or eye glasses, flashlights, candles, matches, extra batteries, trash bags, ABC fire extinguishers, portable radio, waterproof tarp, disinfectant wipes, toothpaste/toothbrushes, personal care items, (deodorant, soap, shampoo, feminine products), toilet paper.
  • Plain household bleach for disinfecting, plus containers to store water.
  • Tools, such as pliers, hammer, rope, duct tape, ax, shovel, sharp knife and crescent wrench.
  • A small amount of cash, extra car keys, copies of driver’s license(s) and insurance papers.
  • Paper and pen, plus books, cards or small stuffed animals to pass the time and for comforting children.

10.Create emergency communications procedures in case family members are separated. Write this information down on cards for children’s backpacks. Keep copies in the home and in vehicles. Along with local numbers and meeting places, include an out-of-state contact. If your family is separated and local phone lines are down or congested, it may be possible to get word to this out-of-state person via American Red Cross or emergency workers. Train the whole family to check in this way, as well as reinforcing 911 situations with children.

You’ll find that preparing isn’t too difficult if you take this list and break it into quarterly jobs. Inspect your property every season to make sure items are secure. Pick up a few supplies every time you go to the store. Grab one extra item each week and you’ll gather the required kit easily. Replace food periodically. Don’t skimp on first aid kit(s). Pick high quality ones that offer pain meds, plenty of bandages, a good first aid manual and a range of treatment for burns, cuts, insect bites, etc. Above all, stay calm. Most emergencies are made worse by panic. If you are well prepared and calm, you’ll fare much better in an earthquake or any emergency that presents itself.
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Preparing For The Worst Before The Earthquake

preparing for the worst before the earthquake

There are few regions of the United States that could be considered to be free of the threat of earthquakes. Some places are naturally safer than others, and serious earthquakes are unlikely in the Upper Midwest and along the Gulf Coast. The New Madrid Seismic Zone can cause major earthquakes in the area of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky. A pocket of earthquake activity is possible in North and South Carolina and Georgia. As would be expected, the entire region west of the Rocky Mountains is in a severe earthquake zone. Those living in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico are also at risk and should take precautions.

Food and Water

An earthquake that measures high on the Richter Scale can produce massive disruption to normal services such as electricity, water, and gas. In addition, it is also possible that the roads going to your area will be destroyed and goods will not be able to get into the local stores. Generally, these disruptions are of a fairly short duration, but emergencies and disasters can result in services being unavailable for weeks. And, not only will good not be able to enter your area, you may not be able to get out.

Rather than be caught totally unprepared, you should create an emergency supply of food and water before the earthquake strikes. There are several ways that emergency water can be obtained – you can purchase bottled water from the store, bottle up your own tap water, use water purification tablets for use with suspect water near your home, or use a water filter for this type of water source. In any event, you should have emergency water enough to last for at least 3 days, and preferably longer.

An emergency food supply is just as important as water, and purchasing premade kits of food is probably the easiest way to provide for this. This type of food will usually have a shelf life of several decades if stored properly. You can also accumulate your emergency food from canned or dehydrated food that you prepare yourself. Canned food and other non-perishable foods from the store also make a good emergency food source.

First Aid

Accidents and injuries can happen at any time, and will be even more likely during an earthquake emergency. A basic first aid kit will allow you to handle most minor injuries without trouble. Bear in mind that the ordinary emergency medical services may be unavailable during this time, so keep a few extra items on hand to deal with more serious injuries such as Celox and Universal Splint.


In the event that your home is either completely destroyed by an earthquake or damaged so badly as to be uninhabitable, you will have to see to shelter, especially if it is impossible to leave the area because the roads are ruined. If possible, if you do live in an earthquake zone, have a good quality tent on hand to provide emergency shelter if needs be. It would also be a good idea to provide for emergency lighting, either with battery powered or liquid fuel lanterns, as well.


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Protection During An Earthquake Surviving a Building Collapse Surviving a Structural Collapse
Protection During An Earthquake
Protection during an earthquake

A Sixth Sense

While earthquakes often strike without any warning, there are times when you may have several minutes to prepare.  My father was in San Francisco during several earthquakes there, and he actually began to feel uneasy before the quake actually hit.  He quickly went outside and was safe from harm, although the buildings he had been in sustained serious damage.  Although, you yourself may not feel uneasy before a quake, you should pay attention to the actions of any of your pets.  Dogs and cats often seem to be able to tell that an earthquake is approaching.  While there is still no hard evidence for this phenomenon, many people have reported that their pets will become agitated and nervous before an earthquake.  If you live in an earthquake zone, you really have nothing to lose by paying attention to your dog’s anxiety and getting out of the house for a while.  At the very worst, you will simply have to go back inside.

Get Out And Away

If you do have any warning about an earthquake before it happens, you should leave your home immediately.  Try to get to an open space away from buildings or trees and lie down.  A strong quake can knock you off your feet, so being prone is the safest position.  Those living in cities should get into the street, or a park if it is nearby.

What Not To Do

The strong movement of the earth that accompanies a major quake means that buildings will shift and possibly collapse.  Whatever you do, do not get into a doorway for protection, the sideways movement of the earth during the quake will cause the doorway to collapse, possibly pinning you and causing severe injuries.  Likewise, do not take refuge under a table.  If you consider that most tables will not support the weight of an adult man, it is unlikely that they will be able to support the weight of your home.  If you are in your car, and conditions are such that you are unable to drive it, get out and lie next to it.  Do not lie under the car – if anything like a bridge or overpass falls on the car, you will be crushed.

Take Sensible Refuge

If you cannot get out of your home when an earthquake strikes, you can still take steps to protect yourself from serious harm.  Taking refuge in the ‘Triangle of Life’ can literally mean the difference between life and death.  The Triangle is the space formed next to heavy pieces of furniture.  If your home collapses, the weight of the ceiling and roof will be borne by the couch or bed or whatever, leaving a space that will keep you safe from harm.  You need simply roll off the couch and curl up into the fetal position. 

You should also avoid getting near objects that can harm you if they fall.  If your refrigerator has been bolted to the floor, there will be little chance of it toppling, but an unbolted appliance of this size can be dangerous.  The movement of the earthquake will probably shatter windows, too, so keep as far away from them as possible to avoid being cut.

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Surviving Building Collapse

There are a number of things that can cause a building to collapse, and the one on most people’s minds now would be terrorism. Using bombs to destroy a building, usually occupied, has unfortunately become a favorite method of those interested in disrupting society and causing casualties. An explosion can also occur as a result of le aking gas. This is the reason why if you do smell gas, it is important to leave the building as quickly as possible. Make sure to always have a survival kit made for an office.

However, there are other factors, besides explosions that can cause a building to collapse. One of the greatest will be earthquakes, as one of high magnitude will be capable of destroying nearly any building not specially designed to resist it. Hurricanes can cause such high winds that homes can actually be flattened by them. Tornadoes are even more destructive and there can be literally nothing left by a pile of rubble once the tornado has passed.

What To Do If The Building Begins To Collapse

There will generally be little or no warning that a collapse is imminent, but the most important things to do are to stay calm and get out of the building as quickly as possible. Do not hesitate to go out a window if that is the nearest exit. If you are in a building with an elevator, do not use the elevator, use the stairs. If you are at home or work, grab your emergency disaster bag if you have one as you leave. Make sure your office has a first aid kit in case you do have to wait for help from a firefighter or paramedic.small first aid cabinet

If You Cannot Get Out

A sudden building collapse may seal any exits and leave you trapped in the building. This is definitely not a time to panic, you will have to use all your mental resources to preserve yourself. Look around for a sturdy piece of furniture such as a heavy desk, sofa, or armchair. However, do not get under these, rather position yourself next to them, lying on the floor with your head protected by your arms. This will put you into the ‘triangle of life’, a spot where it is unlikely that debris will strike you. The furniture will be able to support a collapsing wall or ceiling and create a space adjacent to it where you will be relatively safe. You may be injured, but the chances are that you will come out of the wreckage alive.
Roll And Go Emergency Kit
There will likely be quite a bit of dust from the collapse, so try to cover your mouth, eyes, and nose with a handkerchief or some of your clothing. Dust and smoke can be harmful, so keeping these out of your system as much as possible is important. Because of the dust, keep as still as possible to keep from stirring up more.

Rescuers will be searching for you right away, so let them know that you are trapped by tapping on a wall or floor or pipe. If, by chance, you have a whistle, use that. Do not shout unless absolutely necessary to avoid getting more dust into your lungs. A flashlight is also handy for signaling rescuers.

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Surviving a structural collapse

There are many types of structural damage, from bridge collapses to structural failures due to natural disasters. While you can never stop a collapse from happening, you can have a plan and practice it periodically.

Structural Collapse3 tips to remember:

  • A plan is no good if no one knows it exists.
  • In most incidents it will be recommended that you not use the elevator.  Most new buildings have sprinkler systems to control the fire and allow for evacuation.
  • People with disabilities that may affect their mobility are advised to wait in designated space until help arrives. This will often be another workspace or a stairwell.

React! Take any potentially threatening situation seriously.

Evaluate Judge the level of the threat and consider others who may not have the ability to evacuate alone. Give them assistance if at all possible.

Decide You will need to make a difficult choice based on the information that you have. You need to decide to follow the plan and leave or follow the plan and stay where you are.

Structural collapse incidents

  • Bridges

Minnesota Bridge, I-35W collapses during rush hour on August 1, 2007. I Bridges collage because of structural failures and often inappropriate design. Inspections should catch most of the flaws but because of budget cutbacks throughout the United States, inspections do not happen as often as they should.

  • 9/11

Collapse of the World Trade Center occurred after two commercial airliners were deliberately crashed into the Twin Towers. The impact and fire caused both building to collapse within hours.

  • Aircraft

Structural failures of 2 de Havilland Comet C1 jet airliners crashed due to decompression caused by metal fatigue.

  • Warsaw Radio Mast

On August 8, 1991 the UTC Warsaw radio mast collapsed.

  • Hyatt Regency walkway

The walkways through the lobby of the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri, collapsed due to a change in the design.

In some cases, poor design is the issue but in other cases, it is the lack of general maintenance to the structure. With each incident improvements are made to design and construction but there will always be incidents that happen due to man-made or natural disasters.

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What To Do Before and After an Earthquake What to do During an Earthquake What To Do Immediately After An Earthquake
What to do before and after an Earthquake


Before an Earthquake:  Checklist for Preparing Your Home
While inspecting your home thoroughly, try to imagine everything that can happen in each room during a violent earthquake.  Then, gradually check off the items on your list as you fix them.
  • Teach all members of your family (if they are old enough) how to turn off the water and power to your house.
  • Clearly mark the “open” and “closed” positions of your water supply, electricity, and gas.  If you use natural gas in your home, tie or tape the appropriate wrench needed to close the gas pipe in an easily located place near the actual pipe.
  • Repair or replace loose roof tiles.
  • Attach the water heater and other heavy appliances (stove, washer, dryer) to a post, especially appliances that could break a water or gas pipe if they tip over.
  • Anchor top-heavy furniture and shelves to the wall in order to prevent them from tipping over.  Avoid placing heavy objects on high shelves. 
  • Safely attach mirrors, frames, and other wall hangings in order to prevent them from falling.
  • Keep beds and chairs away from fireplaces and windows.  Don’t hang large frames or other heavy objects above the head of the bed.  Close curtains and blinds to prevent broken glass from falling onto the beds. 
  • Place non-slip mats under televisions, computers, and other small household items.  Or, you can attach them using Velcro.
  • Install childproofing or safety latches to cabinet doors in order to prevent contents from falling out.
  • Keep all flammable products and household chemicals far from heat sources and in the place where they are least likely to spread.
  • Consult a professional to advise you on other ways to protect your home, such as securely fixing the foundation and other techniques on improving the structure.
  • If you live in an apartment building or in a multi-level building, consult the building manager or condo association to decide how to best “earthquake proof” your house.  Ask experts (engineers, authorities, civil protection authorities) if you’re not sure of what to do.
  • If you live in a mobile home you can leave the wheels fixed or install an anchor system that will support the unit and prevent it from falling.  Ensure that the awnings are securely installed.  For more information on how to best anchor a mobile home, contact an association of mobile home owners or an authorized dealer.
Safety Tips
  • Don’t close off your gas valve unless there is a leak or a fire because once shut off, only a qualified technician can re-open it.
  • Consult your broker about earthquake insurance.  Verify your coverage:  it could affect your ability to recover financial losses after an earthquake.

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What to do During an Earthquake

Regardless of where you are during an earthquake, seek shelter immediately.  Go to a safe location nearby and remain there until the shaking stops.


If You Are Indoors, Remember: Take Cover and Hold On
  • Stay indoors 
  • Take cover under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, bed, or any other solid piece of furniture.
  • Hold on to the object you’re using as cover so that you stay protected.
  • If there is no available furniture for you to use, or if you are in a hallway, place yourself in a squatting position alongside an inner wall.
  • If you are in a mall, enter the nearest store.  Keep away from windows and shelves holding heavy objects.
  • If you are in school, take cover under a table or desk and hold on.  Keep your back to the windows, not your head.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, lock the wheels to prevent your head and neck from whiplash.

If You Are Outdoors
  • Stay outdoors. 
  • Find an open area away from buildings.
  • If you are in a crowded public place, take cover somewhere that you will not be trampled.

If You Are Driving
  • Look for a safe place to stop where you are not blocking the roads.  Leave roads open for emergency and rescue vehicles.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses, underpasses, and streets lined with buildings that could collapse.
  • Stop and stay inside the car.
  • Listen to the radio for instructions from emergency service operations.
  • Under no circumstance should you exit your car if a power line has fallen on it.  Wait for emergency or rescue teams to help you.
  • If you need help, indicate that using a sign marked with “SOS” or “HELP” in large letters.
  • If you are in a bus, stay seated until the bus stops moving.  Take cover in a protected area.  If this is not possible, squat in your seat and cover your head with your hands.
What To Avoid During an Earthquake
  • Doors: they can fall back on you and harm you.
  • Windows, bookshelves, tall furniture, and light fixtures; you can be injured by the broken glass or heavy objects. 
  •  Elevators: if you are in an elevator during an earthquake, press the buttons for every floor and exit the elevator as soon as you can.
  • Fallen power lines: stay at least ten meters away in order to avoid injury.
  • Shores: earthquakes can cause significant waves in the ocean called tsunamis (also known as tidal waves).


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What To Do Immediately After An EarthquakeDisaster Supply Kit

Find your family

Establish where and how your family will reunite after an earthquake. Have an out of state contact person. Appoint a friend or relative who your family members can call to report conditions and whereabouts after an earthquake.

Find water
What To Do After An EarthquakeOne of te top priorities in an emergency is having enough uncontaminated water. Everyone’s needs for water may be different. Factors that come into play are age, physical condition, activity, diet and the geographical location you live in. Normally, most people need to drink at least two quarts 64 ounces or eight cups, of water each day.

Environments where temperatures are high can double the amount needed as the body uses water for cooling. Children, nursing women, and ill people will need more water.

Additional water will be needed for hygiene and food preparation. Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day. If you have pets, allow 1 quart per day for each dog or cat. While storing at least a 72 hour supply is recommended; you should consider storing a two-week supply if you have space for it.

Bottled Water: Bottled water from the supermarket in single serving or jugs is good to keep on hand in the event of a disaster. This water should be kept out of sunlight to prevent any microbial life forms from contaminating the water at higher temperatures.

Emergency Water Pouches: Mayday Industries produces US Coast Guard Approved survival water pouches that can be carried on your person without any concerns about water temperatures. This is good to keep with you when traveling between your home and any destination where drinking water us unavailable during a disaster.

Katadyn Water Purification Tablets
Clean Water Containers: In the event that you must capture rain water or other source, you must have clean, marked water containers for the proper storage. Five gallon collapsible water containers are available through which store easily and folded out for use in storing and transporting drinking water.

Water Preserver: This is a concentrated product that can treat up to fifty-five gallons of drinking water, allowing fresh water to be stored up to five years at a time. This product is available through, and kills microscopic life that is responsible for diseases, such as typhoid and dysentery, while preventing mold and fungus growth.

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