Emergency Backpack and Earthquake Preparedness Actions


  • Activity
  • What NOT to do during an earthquake (Appendix B)
  • Emergency Supply Checklists from FEMA and the Red Cross (Appendix C)
  • Earthquake Preparedness Actions Posters (Appendix D)
  • Criteria for Preparedness Skits (Appendix E)
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Learners explore how an emergency backpack and earthquake preparedness actions are their best insurance for survival during worst-case scenarios. In the 5- and 20-minute activities, learners discover situations in which an emergency backpack is essential and then create a supply checklist. In the 30–45-minute activity, learners discover what to do in different situations when an earthquake occurs and then create and share skits to demonstrate the protective actions.

Why is it important to learn about how to prepare for an earthquake? More than 143 million people are exposed to potential earthquake hazards in the U.S. that could cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damage. An understanding of how to prepare before, during, and after an earthquake is fundamental to earthquake hazard preparedness. The ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning system for the West Coast of the U.S. aims to complement earthquake mitigation and preparedness efforts.


Learners will be able to:

  • Identify items required in an emergency backpack.
  • Demonstrate the proper protective response to a ShakeAlert® powered earthquake early warning (EEW) notification in different locations and situations.
  • Communicate with a skit an appropriate response to an EEW notification.

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