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Eco Etiquette: How Can I Make An Eco-Friendly Earthquake Kit?

08/24/2011 11:27 am ET | Updated Oct 24, 2011

Send all your eco-inquiries to Jennifer Grayson at eco.etiquette@gmail.com. Questions may be edited for length and clarity.

After [yesterday's] East Coast earthquake, I want to make sure I'm prepared for the Big One. This may seem like a silly question, but is there such a thing as an eco-friendly earthquake kit?

-Sarah

As far as I'm concerned, there's no silly question when it comes to sustainability, but let's be realistic: If you're unlucky enough to experience an earthquake anything like the near-apocalyptic one that recently struck Japan, I can assure you with 100 percent certainty that the furthest thing from your mind will be whether your drinking water comes in a recyclable bottle.

That is, if you even have drinking water to begin with: According to recent reports, the vast majority (I'm talking 90 percent) of Americans are not adequately equipped for a Fukashima-scale disaster. Heck, have you ever seen the rush to the supermarket before a run-of-the-mill snowstorm? Most Americans aren't even stocked up enough to weather a few flurries.

As someone who found herself stranded during the Great Northeast Blackout of 2003 with 15 cents in her wallet, a lone jar of organic peanut butter in the fridge, and a pack of birthday candles to light her way, I can attest: Being caught unprepared in a catastrophe is not only no fun, it's downright dangerous. (Try making your way up and down the fourth floor of a NYC walk-up in the pitch dark for three days.)

So first, make sure you're stocked up with plenty of bottled water, canned food and other survival essentials recommended by the American Red Cross. Then, if you want to add a few eco extras to your earthquake kit, here are my suggestions:

Eco Earthquake Essentials