The Challenge: Make a Personal Earthquake Kit for $20

We began our adventure by trying to find a low-cost personal earthquake kit solution in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the country. Yet for a mere $20 we were able to cobble together a nifty little grab-&-go bag.

Why did we do this? We want to prove to you, faithful reader, that you don’t have to spend months collecting gear or piles of money to make a serviceable grab-&-go bag. Try a trip to the dollar store.

For 20 bucks you can make yourself earthquake ready. Use our personal earthquake kit guide as your shopping list. We did it in an hour and it was easy!

Make a Personal Earthquake Kit for $20

We started at what serves as the local dollar store:

Local Dollar Store

Everything in the store was only a dollar:

Pens only a dollar

Except for water, which was $1.25 for 3 small bottles:

Water 125

Look at all the goodies we got for only a buck apiece!


Our $20 personal quake kit still needed two more items, but we had almost $6 left. So we headed to Salvation Army to buy a used backpack & emergency transistor radio:

What Savings

And voila! We got everything we needed for a personal quake kit, plus a groovy bag to put it in.All this earthquake preparedness for just $20!

All this earthquake preparedness for just $20!

See how easy that is? What is stopping you from making your own personal earthquake kit right now?