You’ve been meaning to put together a disaster supplies kit ever since you heard predictions that a Cascadia quake and tsunami would impact most everyone around you.
Last week’s record-breaking, back-to-back earthquakes in California might have made the need to assemble essentials in one place seem more urgent.
You can build an emergency preparedness kit yourself, following guidelines by the American Red Cross and Ready.gov, or you can buy a ready-made survival pack.
A basic disaster kit should have supplies for three days to cover your family and pets if you are evacuated and two weeks of supplies if you’re hunkering down in your home, possibly without heat, electricity and running water.
Even if you already have a lightweight, portable disaster kit, you might find it useful to add other items packed into ready-made-kits such as a signal mirror, waterproof matches and gas-shut off wrench.
You might also consider the color of your container. Some people want it red so it’s easy to spot, while others buy an ordinary-looking backpack, duffle or rolling cargo bag that won’t draw attention to the valuables inside. Some people remove patches identifying the bag as a disaster or first-aid kit.
Suppliers warn that high demand after California’s quakes may delay orders. Customized kits may take 20 to 25 business days to ship.
Here are six emergency kits you can buy now to prepare for an earthquake:
Ready America 70385 Deluxe Emergency Kit 4 Person Backpack: This kit ($116.92) has been assembled to reduce the stress of preparing for an emergency. There is enough U.S. Coast Guard-approved food and water with a five-year shelf life and other supplies for three days for a family of four.
The Mayday Industries emergency food rations can withstand temperatures between -22 to 149. Also in the 20.5-pound pack is a first-aid kit with easy-to-spot items in see-through pouches, a crank-power station that operates as a flashlight, radio, siren and cellphone charger plus leather work gloves, blankets, 12-hour light sticks and hygiene supplies.
Redfora Complete Earthquake Bag: The San Francisco-based company, started by advocates of social enterprise who experienced their first earthquake then took an emergency response course, has helped more than 100,000 people get prepared.
Kits, in a red or blue backpack, rolling cargo bag or dry bag for flood areas, can be customized for one to six people and pets to be used at home or in a car, office or school (starting at $39.99; 1% of every sale goes to disaster relief efforts, victims or prevention projects).
A two-person bag selling for $139.99 includes food bars, water pouches, water purification tablets and a hydration bag with a straw plus a first-aid kit, dust masks and hygiene products including tissue and waste bags. The 16-pound backpack also has a 30-hour candle, 12-hour bright stick and a hand-crank flashlight, radio and phone charger plus ponchos, mylar sleeping bags, a two-person tube tent and hand and body warmers. Tools include waterproof matches, whistle and a 50-foot nylon rope.
Redfora’s founders state they are in business to make the world a safer place, and they offer a free, downloadable guide to Building Your Own Emergency Kit and Creating Your Emergency Plan.
Emergency Zone Urban Survival 72-Hour Bug Out/Go Bag Survival Kit: The company, founded by an emergency room doctor, offers a two-person kit with supplies for the first critical three days after a disaster ($179.99). The 12-pound, heavy-duty backpack, in discreet black “that won’t draw unwanted attention to you and your valuable emergency supplies during a disaster,” was designed to work whether you’re fleeing to a shelter or staying indoors after an emergency event or disaster.
Products, from hygiene and comfort items to food and survival gear, comply with Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines. The pack has space to add medications, clothing, maps, cash and important documents. The non-thirst-inducing SOS food ration bars don’t need water to rehydrate. The Emergency Guidebook in the pack helps you plan and offers crucial survival information and life-saving first-aid instructions.
Sustain Supply Co. Essential 2-Person Emergency Survival Bag: The 10-pound backpack ($99) has a water filtration system and food rations to last 72 hours plus reusable blankets, Cyalume SnapLights to signal for help, an LED lantern, Morakniv Companion knife, 50-foot-long lightweight nylon Paracord bundle, first-aid kit, whistles and bath wipes, which allow you to avoid using drinking water for washing.
First My Family Premium Disaster Preparedness Survival Kit: The family-owned company that created AMC’s The Walking Dead Survival Kit and ZPAK (Zombie Preparedness Apocalypse Kit) has survival kits for families, businesses and communities. An 18-pound backpack for four people ($145.95) has a three-day supply of nut-free, non-GMO food rations and clean drinking water certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to stay fresh for five years. There is also a first-aid kit, emergency whistle, compass, flint to start a fire, signal mirror, flashlight and knife. Work gloves, masks and blankets are also inside.
Survival Prep Warehouse Survival Kit Deluxe: The 45-pound duffel bag has three days of supplies for four people ($198.95), including food bars, water pouches, water purification tablets, a hand-crank AM-FM band radio, hand-squeeze rechargeable flashlights, whistle, magnesium flint, mylar sleeping bags, ponchos, tube tents, rope, 16-function pocket knife, leather palm gloves, soaps, toothbrush, toothpaste, wipes, masks, tissue packs, first-aid kit, gas-shut off wrench, can opener, biohazard waste bags, 2.5-gallon water bag, body warmers, light sticks, candle and a deck of cards.