• MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat)'s - enough to last 30 days
  • 2 months of food in the pantry (American Red Cross recommends canned food)
    • Canned veggies (Use water in the can as supplemental drinking water)
    • Corn, potatoes, peas, canned
    • Canned fruit - pears
    • Canned tuna
    • Beans, canned
    • Beef stew, canned
    • Chicken, canned white meat
    • Chili, canned
    • Milk, canned
    • Granola bars
    • Peanut butter and jelly
    • Crackers
    • Dried beans, rice, pasta
    • Warm drinks
    • Pudding, canned
    • Juices
    • Cereals
    • Nuts, raisins, candy, soups
    • Dried fruit
    • Extras - catsup, honey, jam/jelly, salt/pepper
    • Date the cans and rotate stock
    • Store non-perishable foods in empty coffee cans
  • Can opener (non-electric)
  • Also about 4 weeks worth of backpacking food, freeze dried & nitrogen packed
  • High caloric items to keep up your strength
  • Add a supply of good single malt scotch to your stash. (This is no joke.)

Aside from the fact that it makes good trading material, and *maybe* an OK field expedient pain killer or disinfectant (don't take my word on the latter), it's a great way of calming shot nerves. Keep in mind that even though it may feel like it warms you, it really does the opposite, which can be bad in cold weather. Also, don't get so squashed that you can't respond to aftershocks or emergency situations. Guns and booze don't mix.

  • cigarettes or pipe tabacco (if you're a smoker, so don't start now) :^)



  • 50 to 60 gallons of water - 1/2 - 1 gallon/day
    • Heavy 5 gallon storage containers from Tri-City (about $14 each)
    • 30 and 40 gallon storage containers from Rational Behavior

Hand water filter/pump (They can be purchased at Big 5 and will filter almost any dirty water into clean). It will also kill bacteria such as Giardia. It won't take out things unless the molecules are bigger than 2 microns.


  • Good solid footwear (with ankle support)
    • Combat boots
  • Work gloves
  • Extra clothing (At least 5 days worth)
    • Underwear
    • Shirts
    • Work pants
    • Wool & cotton blend socks
    • Goose-down or Dacron II backpacking clothing
  • Layered clothing
    • Windbreaker outerwear (gortex if possible)
    • Wool medium layer - It stays warm even when wet (Don't forget mothballs)
    • Cotton or polypropalene inner layer
    • Silk is also very good


  • Flashlight and batteries (waterproof & explosion proof)
    • Don't keep batteries in the flashlight; store in freezer
    • Extra bulbs
  • Watch or clock - battery or spring wound
  • Radio and batteries (don't keep batteries in the radio)
  • Toilet paper (20-30 rolls for sanitation as well as for bargaining)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Liquid detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Household bleach
  • Powdered chlorinated lime - add to sewage to deodorize, disinfect, and keep away insects
  • Large, plastic trash bags
  • Towels
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates, napkins/paper towels, plastic eating utensils, plastic cups
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • 4-8 pack of replacement batteries (rotate stock; keep in freezer)
  • Knife & razor blades
  • Garden hose, for siphoning and firefighting
  • Condoms
  • Money (at least $100.00 allin small bills & plenty of change)
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Sponges
  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Ground cloth
  • Candles
  • Matches - dipped in wax and kept in waterproof container
  • Newspaper, to wrap garbage and waste in
  • Large trash cans
  • Coleman lanterns
  • Stoves

Gasoline stoves and 10 gallons of white gas Propane stove with an 11 lb propane tank Weber and charcoal, lighter or sterno stove Big kitchen matches in a water-tight container o Pots - at least 2

  • Chafing dish
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • 8,000 btu heater that runs on propane
  • 12 volt battery backup system
  • Medium sized generator to maintain the refrig, provide minimal lighting, and for power tools
  • Tents - Four-man dome tent, or regular 9X9 tent
  • Set up for at least a week. That's my minimum time
  • Fold up toilet seat. (Sure beats squatting.)


  • Fire extihguisher (A-B-C type)
  • Shovels, pick, axe, other 'round-the-house tools
  • Broom
  • Crescent wrench, screw driver, pliers, hammer
  • Coil of 1/2" rope
  • Coil of bailing wire
  • Plastic tape
  • Small and large crowbar (18") to help with jammed doors
    • Small one in the bedroom
    • Large one out in the shed
  • Small, high quality, tomahawk or hatchet (useful for opening car roofs, house doors, and for clearing rubble)
  • Knifes
    • A big one (like 8-10" fixed blade) to cut, hack, and to a limited amount, pry, to make emergency shelters, do emergency surgery, kill alien invaders
    • A little one (either 4" fixed blade/locking folder, or a large swiss army knife) to do yet more surgery, as well as more mundane things such as peel veggies, cut rope, open boxes
    • New designs of serrated edges that will cut through anything more quickly than a straight edged knife
    • Paramedic rescue knife (has an edge and a little bolt which enables it to be opened with one hand)
    • Sharpening device
  • Trauma shears and pouch (20 times more useful than any knife I've ever had.)

The knife is very concealable as the pouch appears only to hold the shears

  • Leatherman (TM) Pocket Multi-Tool
  • A cold chisel
  • Bolt cutter
  • Guns
    • .22 long rifle semi-auto handgun is nice for small game hunting, shooting feral dogs (practice!), and for self-defense (practice!)
    • Larger caliber handgun, primarily useful for self-defense only
    • "High-powered" rifle, in semi-auto or bolt action
    • 12 guage pump action, or semi-auto, shotgun
    • Reloading equipment


  • Sterile eye wash
  • Any long-term medications for family or pets (make sure they are current)
  • Large cold packs (disposable) - Kwik-Cold is the best brand I've used.
  • 1 space blanket
  • Bandages - store in Zip Lock bags
    • 2 4-inch wide roller bandages (Bulk non-sterile)
    • Not all roller bandages are conforming, or stretch( plain gauze won't adhere well)
    • J&J SOF, and the Kendall Conform are the best, both are sold at Med Choice
    • Can pour Betadine on the dressing before applying it (they do this in ER's)
    • 2 4-inch wide Kerlix rolls (bulky roller bandages)
    • 6 4X4 12 ply gauze dressings
    • 1 Blood Stopper (a VERY multi-use telfa compress dressing)
    • 1 multi-trauma dressing (10X30 heavy duty dressing)
    • Several packages of vasoline gauze (for sealing sucking chest wounds)
    • Adaptic dressings (fine mesh dressings for burns and abbrasions)
    • 2 triangular bandages
    • Bandaids in there somewhere I think, (not real important)
  • Betadine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Hibicleanse anticeptic soap
  • Safety pins
  • Pad and pen
  • Squirt bulbs (for irrigating wounds)
  • 1 unit instant glucose
  • Air splints or 1 wire splint (just in case I can't find cardboard)
  • Large selection of antibiotics and pain killers (check expiration dates)
  • Scalpels, suture kits, and other items to perform minor surgery
  • Stethoscope
  • BP cuff
  • Pediatric cuff (sized BP cuff for kids and little old women)
  • Latex exam gloves (several pairs, disposable)
  • CPR rescue mask (a mask you place on a victim to perform rescue breathing)
  • Tape (I hardly ever use tape)
  • Steri Strips or butterfly closures

Large open wounds are only to be covered with a sterile dressing and left to heal/close by themselves. This way, drainage takes place as the dress- ing is replaced daily.

  • Book called "Emergency War Surgery" that outlines the steps to perform appendectomies, amputations, etc.
  • Backpack to carry it all in
  • 1 set of 5 oral airways (see explanation below)

Airways are meant to be used primarily in conjunction with ventilation equipment, resue masks, bag valve masks etc. If used improperly, or with the wrong size, a patient's airway could be blocked. This especially can happen if they're not inserted using the correct technique.

  • 1 oxygen euipment tubing (connect my mask to supplimental O2,VERY important)
  • Surgical scrub brushes (Med Choice has) packaged in betadine or hebicleanse
  • Trauma Shears (actually, I carry those on my belt)
  • 'Extractor' venom pump kit
  • Book called "Emergency War Surgery" that outlines the steps to perform appendectomies, amputations, etc.
  • Fanny pack to carry it all in


10      4x4 Dressings*

3       Kling gauze rolls*

1       8x10 surgipad

1       roll wet proof adhesive tape

10      band aids assorted sizes

1       scissors

10      antiseptic wipes*

1       sterile water

1       pocket mask*

1       large trauma dressing

1       instant glucose

1       burn sheet


2       kerlix rolls

2       triangle bandages*

1       rescue or space blanket

1       roll hypo allegenic tape

1       tweezers

1       kwick cold

2       eye patches

2       pair sterile latex gloves

2       erg or gatoade packs

1       pen light

pen and paper

1       syrup of ipecac


* Outdoor shed

  • Sturdy, decorative footlocker or chest (keep it near the front door or patio)
  • Keep it filled with as much of the above-mentioned stuff as you can

Water and food being the most important considerations

  • Rubbermaid Rough-Neck Totes - food in one tote, blankets in another, etc.
  • Enclosed utility trailer - ready to go should I have to leave the area

Compartments for food storage

  • One large area for bulkier items such as my generator
  • 5 gallon water jugs
  • 2 5-gallon gas cans on the front
  • 12 VDC battery that can be charged from the vehicle
  • Fold down shelf on one side for setting up a propane stove for cooking

Ham antennas and lights

  • 1000 lb capacity - built small chassis available from Sears or auto stores


  • Food
  • Water
  • Flashlight
  • First Aid kit
  • Clothes
  • Money (at least $100. in small bills)
  • Whistle or Police-shrieker
  • CURRENT pictures of family members (incl pets)
  • Documents like house deed, insurance, etc.
  • A game or two & books


  • Keep gas tank full (refill at 1/2 tank)
  • 1 gallon water
  • High energy protein bars
  • Keep the food out of direct sunlight, so it lasts longer.
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher - CO2
  • Metalic blankets
  • Flashlight/siren/radio combination
  • Sun logo emergency kit, in the SunWear catalogue
  • Swiss-army knife, or better yet a good folding blade knife with a 3-4" blade
  • A big knife
  • Maps of the area
  • Couple of MRE's (MEALS, ready to eat)
  • Small backpack to carry it all in
  • 4-5 D-cell Maglite with krypton bulb or 2 AA cells mini-maglite- Extra bulbs
  • Road flares
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Critical medication
  • Tissues
  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Tools - screwdriver, pliers, wire, knife
  • Spare Clothing
    • Poncho
    • Warm, all weather jacket (A mil-surplus field jacket is great because it's windproof, has 4 big pockets, a built-in hood, removable insulating liner)
    • Long sleeve wool sweater
    • Warm pants
    • Warm shoes
    • Rugged gloves (cheap mil-surplus leather gloves and removeable wool liners are great. For upscale folks, a set of deerskin black leather gloves with wool liners from Eddie Bauers.)

The nice thing about military clothes and stuff is

a) it's rugged and b) it often is inter-designed to work with other components (Ex: the M-65 field jacket has fold out wrist liners to be cinched down by the military gloves). Knit wool cap

  • Money (small bills/change)
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Tampons or pads (useful for first aid, also)
  • A few large black plastic bags (environmentally incorrect, but very useful)
  • Vitamins (at least C since fresh food may be scarce for a while)
  • Spare glasses (if you wear them)
  • Gas siphon - or short rubber hose
  • Tow chains, tire chains (4)
  • Tent
  • Shovel
  • Chemical lights (Cyalume)
  • Walkman/batteries



  • Don't rely on hot water heater for a source of water
    • Check immediately if the water main has broken
    • Listen to see if you can hear water leaving the water tank
    • Close main off to preserve the water in the HW tank
    • Shut-off valve on the tank
  • Evaluate home and work-area for their strengths and weaknesses in the event of an emergency---ie, where are the safest--and not-so-safe--places, know where the exits are, the location of first aid equipment, best place/s to store equipment, etc....


  • Knowledge of how to use the equiment
  • American Survival Guide, monthly magazine
  • Backpacking books
  • Firearms training


  • Plan how to contact spouses, SOs, children, pets, etc.
  • Handheld transmitter (i.e. "walkie talkie")
  • CB radio
  • Battery operated TV
  • Ham radio
  • Get involved with a community neighborhood preparedness

Contact the Red Cross disaster services at 408/292-6242

Start by inviting your neighbors over some evening. Tell them that you are concerned about Earthquake Preparedness and would like to discuss how. Have some brochures or handouts for them.


  • Major factor in surviving is trying to return to as close a normal life
  • Eating things you would normally eat
  • Assigning chores to those who could handle tasks


  • Rational Behavior Co, 1615 El Camino Real West, Mountain View, 415-969-5555
  • Military surplus

MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat)'s - 72 meals per case.  Cases run $79.95 - $89.95

Canned water, waterproof containers for grain/water, first aid kits, etc.

  • Cambrian Surplus, 2059 Woodard Rd, San Jose, Phone:  377-6953
    Hours:  Mon-Fri 10-6
    Sat     9:30-5:30
    Sun     11-4
  • Stevens Creek Surplus, 3449 Steven Creek Blvd., Santa Clara-San Jose (Between
    San Thomas & Winchester), Phone:  244-0773
    Hours:  Mon-Fri 9-9
    Sat-Sun 10-6

There's a lot of cheap copies of mil-surplus stuff out there, and it's not as good quality. The U.S. Cavalry Store catalogue has nice little "Official Issue" stamps on all the appropriate items, which helps a lot.
The local "surplus" places are pretty poor pickings unless you're an experienced shopper, but hey, check em' out yourself on a weekend. If nothing else you find lots of cool stuff to examine :-), and they often do carry useful, mundane, things like camping gear, or knives.

The best I have is:

U.S. Cavalry Store
2855 Centennial Ave.
Radcliff, KY 40160-9000
Orders: 1-800-626-6171
Fax: 1-502-352-0266
Store: 502-351-1167

The second best is:

Brigade Quartermasters
1025 Cobb International Blvd.
Kennesaw, GA 30144-4300
Orders: 1-800-486-4327
FAX: 404-426-7726
Telex: 54-2461
Store: 404-428-1234

Both places sell hunting, camping, and mil-surplus type stuff. I think U.S. Cavalry has a better selection, so if you ordered only one catalogue that would be the one. U.S. Cavalry has official military issue items so listed, which makes it easier to pick them out. They also have stuff like MREs, water purifiers, goretex clothing, knives, flashlights, backpacks, sleeping bags, etc. Both places also stock a selection of books on wilderness survival, and other esoteric subjects.

Note: a few things in these catalogs may be illegal to carry, or in a couple of cases, own in California. Unless you decide to order something bizarre like a blowgun or nunchaku, you shouldn't have any problems, but be aware.

BOTH places I noted sell paramedic shears if anyone is interested.

The serrated edge referred to is probably the "Spyder Edge" developed by Spyderco knifes and now ripped off, uh, I mean proudly used, by other manufacturers. I believe it's supposed to last longer than a flat edge and cuts better. The primary down side is that it requires a special crockstick affair to sharpen when it does get dull, but I think this is pretty easy if you have the crockstick set.

  • SI Outdoor Food and Equipment
    P.O. Box 3796
    Gardena, Ca 90247

They publish a catalog of specials bi-monthly. It takes several issues of the catalog to get through their whole product line.

There is a good source for alternative energy equipment called Real Goods. They sell an inch thick book/catalog for $10. I'll get their address and put it out in another email.

A surgical supply house is the only place to buy supplies for trauma. Drug stores don't carry the quality or selection of items that are needed to really render serious care.

Two companies that are popular with EMT's are Dynamed and Life Assist, both up North a ways. Both places will provide a catalog.

However, locally, in San Jose there's a supply store called Med Choice that has the lowest prices available.

There is another good source for preparedness items:

  • Nit-Pak
    13243 Rosecrans Ave
    Santa Fe Springs, Ca 90670

in San Jose there's a supply store called Med Choice that has the lowest prices available.