What to put in an earthquake survival kit

Last night, in the wake of the news surrounding the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and with the realization that a Big One in Manila is imminent, my husband and I started discussing what we would put in our own earthquake survival kit.

Our initial list consisted of the following:

  • Phones and phone chargers
  • Laptops, laptop chargers, external hard drive that contains seven years’ worth of memories
  • Copies of important documents (birth and marriage certificates, passports)
  • Checkbook (just so it’s secure)
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Changes of clothes and basic toilettries
  • Drinking water
  • Crackers and some canned goods
  • Alcohol and insect repellent
  • Paper, pens, Swiss knife and basic tools

We didn’t get to finish our list, but other online resources showed that following should also be included in an earthquake survival kit:

  • Can opener – Of course, to open the canned goods (Why didn’t I think of that?)
  • Money – Another “of course” (although I had already assumed that my wallet and organizers would be in my bag
  • First-aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Grill or camp stove
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Water should be at least three days’ worth
  • Water purification tablets
  • Wrench – To switch off water and gas supply at home
  • Disinfectant (like chlorine)
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Gas/dust mask
  • Trash bags
  • Portable (or solar-powered) radio
  • Photos of family members – in case people go missing and you need references to locate them