In light of the earthquake in Osaka this morning, I’m reposting this information about building an earthquake kit.

You must think about earthquakes in Japan, and you must prepare for them. A good way to do this is to build an earthquake kit. I have, so far, been lucky enough to have not been caught in a large earthquake, though I have felt many small ones. An earthquake kit is a good way to prepare for an earthquake while you are living in Japan.

There is a lot you can do to prepare for an earthquake in Japan, and I suggest you check out my other post on how to prepare for an earthquake. Another thing you can do is make an earthquake kit or an emergency preparedness kit. I have searched around the internet and made my own list of what I think should be in it. I have yet to make a kit for myself though, so I should do it sooner rather than later.

I’m going to list the items you should have for two separate kits. The first list will be a kit for in your home, and the second list is smaller and designed in the case of evacuation. This information has all been gleaned from various websites so feel free to make your own adjustments to suit your own lifestyle and needs.

In-home earthquake kit

After a strong earthquake, you will probably have no water, gas, or electricity. You need to prepare for this. here are things you should have in your home emergency kit:

  • Water. You should have enough for two weeks. If you have a water cooler or buy water in bottles, make sure you always have a supply on hand and don’t let it dip too low.
  • Food. This should be non-perishable and easy to prepare. Some ideas are canned fruit, vegetables, beans, tuna, crackers, nuts, granola bars, beef jerky, or other camping food.
  • A manual can opener
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Matches and candles
  • Battery/solar/hand crank radio

– first aid kit:

  • Bandages and gauze
  • Antibiotic ointment and alcohol wipes
  • Pain-relievers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Needle and thread
  • Gloves and dust masks
  • Splinting materials (brace and wraps)

BONUS: once the shaking has stopped, try and fill your bathtub with water. You can use this to drink or to flush the toilet.

Evacuation earthquake kit

This should already be packed and ready to grab and go in an emergency.

  • Water: 3 days’ worth
  • Food: 3 days’ worth, similar to the items above
  • Cutlery
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery/solar/hand crank radio
  • Multi-purpose tool (Swiss Army knife)
  • First aid kit (same as above)
  • Fain jacket or poncho
  • Towels
  • Water bottle
  • Water purification tablets and/or purification drinking straw
  • Emergency blankets
  • Copies of important documents: medication lists, passports, proof of address, insurance certificates, etc.
  • Map of your area
  • Cash

If you have time to collect items before you leave your home:

  • Pillow and blanket
  • Close-toed, warm shoes
  • Plastic bags
  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries

If you have children or pets:

  • Games, card, or toys for kids
  • Diapers and baby food
  • Pet food, collars, tags, and leashes

You might also need a kit to get out of your house during an emergency:

  • Work gloves
  • Hammer and crowbar
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Rope ladder

OR!! If you feel like doing this the easy way, you can buy one There are plenty of pre-made earthquake kits (US) to choose from, so surely you can find one that suits you (Japan).

Make sure you keep your earthquake kits up to date. You should check the expiry dates on your foods and replace them if they are getting old. Also, check and replace the batteries if needed. If your personal documents have changed, make sure you put updated copies in the evacuation kit.

What do you think of these lists? Is there anything I missed?

Don’t forget to check out my other post about what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

Author

Jennifer has lived in Japan for a total of seven years. She has travelled, taught English, studied Japanese, completed a Master's Degree, and travelled some more. She currently calls Nagoya her home, where she lives with her Japanese husband.

28 Comments

  1. Wow, living in Australia we are not accustomed to earthquakes so this was really educational for me. So many things to consider. Thanks Jen Xx

    • Definitely something you need to take seriously in Japan. It must be nice to not have to worry about earthquakes in Australia. Though I’m sure you have other things to worry about, like droughts and giant bugs. 😉

  2. I think this list is now useful more than ever! We don’t have earthquake in Vietnam, but it’s good to know what we need in emergency case.

    • Yes, the earthquake in Osaka this morning made me feel dumb for still not having built an emergency kit. Even after I made this post on how to do it. It’s easy to feel comfortable when nothing bad is happening, but then when something happens you realize you should always be prepared.

  3. Pingback: This is Japan 2 – Stewie Overseas

  4. Pingback: Earthquake safety in Japan – Stewie Overseas

  5. In our mobile technology world, add a power bank with a set of USB cables you need.

    Another suggestion for the form of torch is a headlamp type, like for caving. This allows you to have your hands free.

    Maybe every month charge up the power bank, as well as periodically change the torch batteries etc.

  6. Pingback: Earthquake safety in Japan – Jen Stewie, Overseas

  7. Good list. We’ve made an earthquake kit at my workplace, but I still need to get onto that for my own home. New Zealand is pretty earthquake prone. Just like Japan. Wellington is also pretty much sitting on two tectonic plates so we get earthquakes on a fairly regular basis.
    Yay for living on the ring of fire XD

  8. Pingback: This is Japan 2 – Jen Stewie, Overseas

  9. Brian Detwiler Reply

    Like you where saying, a Go-Bag is only the first step; you need a go-plan for you and your’s. Any of you in large institutions will most likely have a formal Disaster plan, with all it’s different Codes. The NA standards are colour coded, such Blue, Black, Yellow (and it’s junior version Amber) that are reasonably well know (look it up if you don’t!). Some are not as well know, such as Green, which is evacuation. Code Green (Green means Go!) disaster plan will be in phases depending on the area affected. It doesn’t matter what the cause is, just that it means get out; the room, the floor, the building, neighborhood or city. So for each step have a mustered point everyone involved knows. Larger civic emergencies will declare what these are, but you can have your own. A coffee shop down the street, a friends house across town, or in another city if it’s a big enough situation.

  10. Sounds like your ready for action there. I’ve been in Las Vegas nearly four years, haven’t felt any shakes yet…

    • It sounds like I am, but I’m not really. I haven’t made this yet. My husband and I might just buy pre-made ones online and add or take things out. Does Las Vegas get earthquakes?

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