Are you prepared for an earthquake?

March 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Disaster strikes -- but are you ready? Discover the top 10 things you and your family need to know in order to survive an earthquake.

Is your family prepared to survive one day, two days, or even a week on their own? Nick Smith talked with Chris McCloy, the founder of Disaster Survival Solutions and creator of the Quake Relief Center, to find out what you need to know when disaster hits.

Top 10 things for your family's earthquake kit:

  1. Tent
  2. Sleeping bags
  3. Clothing for night & day
  4. Food - 2,000 calories/person per day (7 days)
  5. Water - 1 gallon/person per day (7 days)
  6. First aid kit
  7. Flashlight (dynamo-powered)
  8. Radio (dynamo-powered)
  9. Lantern (battery-powered)
  10. . Hygiene kits (1 per person)

Extra things to pack

  1. Folding portable toilet, paper, bags
  2. Fire extinguisher
  3. Heavy duty work gloves
  4. Gas/water shut-off tools
  5. Pet food and shelter

Chris McCloy recommends the following steps after a major earthquake:

  1. Assemble at your disaster meeting place. A safe meeting place should be defined and all family members should be aware of this location. Ideally, it should be outside the house and away from any potential danger such as chimney stacks, falling debris or power lines.
  2. Do a head count. Is everyone - pets included - accounted for?
  3. Give first aid and get help for individuals who are seriously injured.
  4. Use a self-powered radio to be aware of news and instructions from local authorities.
  5. Check the house for structural damage, fires, fire hazards, gas leaks and other utility damage.
  6. Determine if it is safe for your family to go back inside the home. If you find that your home is uninhabitable-or if you are unsure of your home's condition-provide safe shelter for your family and be prepared to stay in this shelter for at least a week.

About the earthquake kit:

Chris McCloy developed an earthquake kit that takes all the guesswork out of earthquake preparedness and includes a 10-section, detailed post-disaster plan, along with all supplies needed to survive up to a week. The complete earthquake kit, housed in a durable weatherproof deck box, is designed to be located directly outside the home. It contains everything a family needs to be self-sufficient after a big quake, along with a personalized disaster action plan. Also available is a yearly maintenance service that includes an annual inspection, refresh of all perishable items in the kit, and an update of the personal disaster action plan. With QR Center, just minutes after a natural disaster occurs, Bay Area residents can be sure they will have a secure, warm, sheltered environment with lighting, hygiene essentials, first aid, and a week's supply of food and water. The QR Center offers one-stop, comprehensive disaster relief not available elsewhere. It's sold in sizes suitable from 2 to 7 people.

For more information on the kits, visit:

USGS earthquake preparedness Web site: