Five Simple Steps to Make Your Home "Earthquake Ready"


A few years ago, my friend Zach and I decided to (finally) get our families prepared for the next major earthquake. Living in California means that earthquake prep is something every one of us has to do. When we got down to it, we were so amazed by how many people haven’t truly prepared their families, and we were inspired to make it simple and easy. We started an emergency preparedness company, and we’ve helped more than 10,000 people with earthquake preparedness over the past few years.

It’s never fun to think about your family in a disaster situation, but a few simple steps can make your family safer and better prepared in the days after a major earthquake.

Have a few minutes right now? Here are 5 things you can quickly do today that will absolutely keep your family safer in the next major earthquake.

1. Put Shoes By Your Bed 

Shoes Under the Bed

An earthquake shakes literally everything around, causing furniture, shelves and everything unsecured to fall and break. It covers your floors with broken glass, smashed pottery, wine bottle shards, and anything else you can imagine. There is a 33% chance the next major earthquake happens while you are asleep. Imagine, it’s dark, the power is out, you are in bare feet, and you have to evacuate.

If you do have to leave, you may be walking the streets barefoot, and could be on the move for hours or days after the event. A pair of shoes can be a gamechanger in a dangerous situation.

Have 15 seconds? Put a pair of old shoes under your bed right now.

2. Add a Flashlight to Your Nightstand

Flashlight on Nightstand

Expect the power to be out after an earthquake. That fun flashlight function on your phone? It’s not going to last long without power to plug it in. Plus, your phone is a key source of communication and information. By relying on a flashlight for emergency events, you can see what's going on around you and preserve your phone's power.

Need a flashlight? For a limited time we are giving away our Heavy-Duty Mini LED Flashlights for FREE (just pay shipping). Why are we doing this? Because we want to help people take the first step in being prepared! :)  

Bonus tip: remember to test the batteries in your flashlight and smoke alarms when you change the clocks during daylight savings time twice a year.

3. Move Your Earthquake Kit

Move your bag near the door

Your earthquake kit should be easy to grab. You don't know where you will be when an earthquake strikes and may be in a panic trying to keep yourself and your family safe. Your kit should be near the main exit of your home, so you can get it quickly. Consider a coat closet that's easily accessible, and remember not to hide your emergency kit under a bunch of junk!

Unfortunately you won't have time to collect valuables during the event, but your family’s safety is most important. In the event of an evacuation, you should head straight to the front door or your primary exit, so make sure your supplies are ready and waiting.

Still don’t have an earthquake kit for your family? We get it - that’s why we exist! We’ve built the smartest, most efficient earthquake bags you can make or buy, built for people like you. Find your custom Earthquake Bag in under 5 minutes HERE!

4. Give Everyone Emergency Information

Emergency Contact Cards

If you're like most of us, you probably have an emergency contacts list attached to your fridge or on your home office bulletin board. Put a copy in your child's backpack, the glove box of your car, your wallet or purse, and in your earthquake kit. This way you'll always have the information handy even if you have to leave in a rush. If your little ones are separated from you, it helps if their rescuers know who they are, who they belong, and how to get you back together.

Include an out-of-town emergency contact. Let them know your status as soon as possible. Local phone lines may be jammed after an earthquake so it will be easier to reach someone outside of the disaster area.

5. Choose an Emergency Meeting Place

Evacuation Map

If an earthquake strikes during the day, you’ll likely be separated from your loved ones. You may be at work while children are at school. Discuss with your family where you plan to reunite in the event of a disaster. Your cell phones might not work during a disaster, so it's important to have a plan beforehand.

You may not want to think about an earthquake, but that doesn’t make the probability any different. We know that another major earthquake will strike here, so let’s be grown ups and take a few simple precautions for our families. It doesn’t have to take long, and it can make a huge difference in protecting you from injury and keeping you in contact with loved ones.

You’ll feel better knowing that you’ve done what you can to make your family safer. Need more earthquake prep info, or want someone to build out your family’s kit for you? Check out for earthquake prep tips and tricks, info on supplies and how to use them intelligently, and what to look for when preparing for your family.

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  • Skyler Hallgren
Comments 4
  • Nancy

    During a major earthquake, nothing will be where you left it. In the 94 quake, my mother’s emergency shoes, flashlight, and portable radio all ended up 3 feet away – inside the closet wheree the door was closed and underneath clothes that fell off the clothes rod. Her emergency kit walked at least an equal distance and was buried under rubble. Solution: my brother created an easy access container that he screwed to the underside of her bed. In addition, a mere 2 weeks before that quake, my mother had an automatic gas shut-off valve installed. It quite literally saved her life.

  • The Earthquake Bag
    The Earthquake Bag

    Hi Bonnie- You can see all Earthquake Bag prices at the link below. We would recommend a 2 Person Complete Earthquake Bag for 3 or 7 days for the two adults and a Complete Emergency Bag for Dogs for your Golden Retriever!

  • Bonnie Torres
    Bonnie Torres

    How much are your Earthquake kits for 2 adults & a Golden Retriever?

  • Dianne

    A friend told me to have a wad of cash in your emer bag, all small bills. If the elec is out NO one will make change if there’s a sandwich line, or water line ,etc. Also, have a list of all passwords, banks, family, emails. etc. If we’re away from home and in a panic we’ll forget. Don’t write what the password is for, in case bag is stolen. During WW2 European women sewed treasurers inside linings of coats. If our bags are stolen, it might be a good idea to do this as well.

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