What I was aiming for is a version of the 72-hour urban survival kit, the idea being it just has to get you through the time from the earthquake hits to when FEMA gets their act together. Note that, after seeing the Hurricane Katrina performance, this may end up being more than 72 hours. Towards that end I bought a 5-gallon jug of water for the garage. We normally have a bunch of bottled water around the house, but Murphy's law says that the quake will hit just as we're about to go to Costco for more.
What ended up in my pack was:
- 6 16oz bottles of water
- Folding knife
- Beef jerkey (although I later read on the site that trail mix would be better)
- Plastic canteen survival kit (has a few useful items, including poncho, survival blanket, whistle and matches)
- Water purification tablets
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Trauma bandages (2" to 6" thick gauze pads)
- Hand-crank flashlight
- Duct tape
By my quick estimate, this cost me about $65, although some items are hard to tell (the trauma bandages I split across 3 different kits). The most expensive item was the canteen survival kit, at $15. A used backpack to store it all in was also included, which was about $12.
Hopefully I'll never need it, but since California has a 99% chance of having a major quake in the next 30 years, it will probably come in handy at some point.