How to Get Your Car Earthquake Ready

Being in a hunk of moving metal doesn’t mean you’re safe

In case you missed the news about the San Andreas Fault, researchers discovered the treacherous quake-trigger has been steadily moving up and down for years. What this means for our chances of colliding head-first with the “Big One” is unclear, but it’s made the need for preparation feel even more urgent.

If a large temblor does arrive while you’re home, find some sturdy furniture and get underneath it (the door jamb option is so last century). But if you’re driving? Well, we have some tips here, which include pulling over to a shoulder and stopping where nothing can fall on you; shutting off the car, putting on the parking brake, and covering your head.

It’s a good idea to carry some essentials in your car in case you’re stuck in your car for a while—after a quake, your car could be damaged, you could find yourself miles from help, or traffic could be at a standstill.

• Water
It’s always a good idea to have a couple bottles in your vehicle. FEMA recommends store-brought bottles—they’ll last longer—and be aware of the expiration date.

• Energy bars
These are good to have in case you’re stuck in your car for a while. You can always bust into them in other emergencies; like if your four-hour drive to Vegas turns into an eight-hour slog.

• First Aid Kit
Just in case. We found this 121-piece kit for $19.99.

• Flashlight
In case you have to leave your car, and it’s evening, you don’t want to use your cell phone and suck up your battery.

• Wireless Phone Charger
Speaking of which, you’ll want to make sure your phone can be juiced up at a moment’s notice. Here are some options.

• Hoodie or Jacket
Another instance of “always good to have.” Pull one from your closet you never wear and toss it in your trunk; you’ll never miss it.

• Cash
Hide 10 bucks in your glove compartment under your registration. It might come in super handy in an emergency like a major quake.