Storage of supplies

Multiple locations

When you decide where to store your earthquake supplies, don't assume that they all need to go in one place. Of course you don't want them scattered all over your home because that would make them hard to find in a hurry, but I do recommend that you keep a 3-day kit in each of your family's primary vehicles. Everything else can go in one or perhaps two locations inside or outside your home.

There are a couple of reasons for putting a kit in each car:

On the other hand you'll have too much stuff to put everything in your cars, so you'll need to pick another place for the bulky stuff.


You definitely want to keep all your stuff gathered into some small number of containers, and while almost any container will work, some are better than others.

For car kits:

For home supplies:

Accessibility after an earthquake

Your supplies will be useless if you can't get to them after an earthquake, and the ideal situation is to have a small outdoor shed which is far enough from any large building to ensure that nothing will collapse onto it. Most of us don't have this luxury, so we simply have to use common sense and store our stuff where it's most likely to be reachable even if our buildings suffer some damage. If you have to make some compromises here don't give up; just do the best you can with what you have available. Try to avoid obvious problems like putting supplies deep in the interior of the house, or in locations where something heavy is likely to fall on them.


There are various kinds of security we can consider here:

Environmental conditions

Heat and humidity will affect some types of supplies, especially food. Sometimes this will conflict with other storage criteria, so you'll have to make choices and perhaps split storage between a couple of areas. For example, tools like crowbars and shovels which would be needed to move rubble must be stored outdoors where they will be accessible, but hot and cold won't affect them so that's OK. Food, on the other hand, must not be stored where it gets hot, so you'll have to keep that indoors. There are few perfect solutions, but something is always better than nothing so just do what makes sense for your situation.