Earthquake-Ready Your Car, Too

The recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile have spurred many to update (or establish!) their home quake preparedness kits. That’s good thinking. While you’re at it, make sure you have a plan for the members of your household to communicate with one another in case you’re not all home at the time.

For many Southern Californians, the likeliehood that we won’t be at home, but in or near our cars when an earthquake strikes, is good. So make sure your cars are earthquake ready, too.

Here’s what we carry in ours:

An emergency kit:

This is the 4 Person Deluxe Backpack Survival Kit from It’s got first aid supplies, food, water, lights, a portable radio, etc. It all comes in a backpack, so you can take it with you if you have to leave the car. Make sure your kits have sufficient supplies for everyone in your family for a few days



Go Girls female urination device:

A GoGirl ( is “the way to stand up to crowded, disgusting, distant or non-existent bathrooms. It allows women to urinate while standing up.” I have these, and they work. ‘Nuff said.



Freeplay hand-crank radio with flashlight:

Freeplay EyeMax AM/FM LED Radio – no electricity/battery required. While a smaller, less rugged one of these comes with the earthquake kit above, we keep these around, too. Get one for your house while you’re at it. How many of us have battery-powered radios in the house, and how else will you get news (except on Twitter!) when the power’s out?



A USB charger for your phone/PC:

This is the Powerjolt Dual Universal 2 USB Blk Car Charger. I like it because it has two USB inputs, but there are similar (and smaller) ones that offer a single input if that floats your boat. Just make sure you have a charging cable for whatever you’d want to charge, and  keep in mind this will work off your  car’s battery, which you might want or need to conserve, but at least you’ll be able to charge your phone if needed.


Some other things to remember:

  • Carry an extra pair of sturdy shoes and socks for everyone in your family. You might be out in dress shoes… or sandals… neither of which are ideal for trekking several miles, should you need to do so. If you don’t have extra shoes around, toss your old running shoes in the trunk next time you replace them.
  • And of course, for your house, remember battery-operated lanterns:

We have the Coleman 4D Rugged Personal Size Lantern in each of our bedrooms. They also offer a “Family Size” version. Just remember to keep plenty of batteries on hand, and make sure they’re fresh.

And finally:

Make sure everyone in your family knows to check-in with a pre-agreed out of state contact. Cell service will likely be spotty after a quake and landlines may be down; it’s easier to place a call to someone back East than to someone on the Westside. Remember, too, that it may be more successful to send a text than place a call, so make sure that you’ve got Twitter’s text address, as well as that of your emergency contact(s), in your phone.

We all know another big quake will hit Southern California; it’s just a matter of when. Take a few minutes now – all of this stuff can be ordered online, just click on the images to do so – to make sure you’re as ready as can be.

Please add your own car-preparation tips in the comments below.