Stop and think for a second. An earthquake hits. In two minutes, gather everyting that you think you are going to need, and go to the park or school near your house. Assume you will live here for a week. What would you like to have with you? This is basically what happened to people living in Kobe after the Hanshin Earthquake.
Things to prepare
1. Water - There is probably nothing that you can do that costs less and will benefit you more in the event of an earthquake than to prepare some water. It's like camping. You'll need water to drink, obviously, but also for the less obvious things, like washing your hands and face, brushing your teeth, flushing the toilet, and, probably most importantly, putting out small fires before they consume your entire building. What to do: the next time you finish a PET bottle of water, Coke, or Oolong tea, save the bottle, fill it with water, and put it somewhere. Save about 30 liters of water per person. It costs nothing. And ask anyone who transported a 20 liter jug of water from Umeda to Kobe, carrying water is a huge pain.
2. Plastic Bags: for broken glass and dishes, to carry you clothes to the park and keep them dry, to sit on. Keep about 20 garbage bags per person ready.
3. Toilet Paper
4. A bar of Soap
5. A magic marker, some blank paper and some tape for making and posting message signs outside your home. "We're OK. We're moved to Osaka. Contact us at (06) xxx-xxxx"
6. Food: Instant ramen, chocolate, crackers, Caloriemate, etc.
7. Cash - in 1000 yen bills and 100 yen coins
- Your glasses - especially if you usually wear contacts. After an earthquake is not the best time to try to put in your contacts.
- A flashlight and batteries
- Some towels and washcloths (in the plastic bag)
- Rope, hammers, shovels, cloves, a hard hat
- A first aid kit.
- A plasitc (unbreakable) cup to drink out of.
- Phone numbers and addresses of your friends and co-workers, especially the ones who live near you.
- Lots of clean socks and underwear, pack more than you think you will need. You'll be glad you did.
Online References for Earthquake preparedness