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Prepare an earthquake first aid kit

A road torn up by an earthquake.

Make sure to store your earthquake first aid kit in a secure location that will be accessible after an earthquake. You must rotate all supplies in your kit to keep them fresh, especially if it’s kept in a vehicle – exposure to heat can shorten the shelf life of your supplies. It’s recommended that you update your first aid supplies twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to refresh them when you change your clocks for daylight savings time, or when you check smoke detector batteries.

Essential medications and supplies:

  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Extra prescriptions for all family members, as well as children’s aspirin and other age-specific over the counter medications
  • Diarrhea medication
  • Eye drops
  • Cold/Cough medicine
  • Benadryl
  • Insect repellent
  • Ear and nose drops
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Skin disinfectant spray
  • Old pairs of prescription eyeglasses

Also include these medical materials in your kit:

  • Band-Aids
  • Latex gloves
  • Surgical mask
  • Instant heat and cold packs
  • Ace bandages
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Gauze pads
  • Cotton swabs
  • Adhesive tape
  • Sterile bandage rolls
  • Triangular bandage for a sling
  • Tongue depressors
  • Splint material
  • Spray bottle with 10% bleach solution for disinfecting

Remember that you need to be able to get to these supplies after an earthquake, so store them in an area that has minimal chance of being buried under debris. A good receptacle for storing these items is a large, weatherproof trash can. The following items are essential to earthquake survival and recovery.

For more information visit these sites:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Southern California Earthquake Data Center

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