How to prepare guests for a possible big earthquake?

Me and my hubby are BnB’ing in Peru :peru: and since moving to our new apartment and having a chat to our lovely female firefighter :woman_firefighter: neighbor, this European :belgium: guy has started worrying about earthquakes . I am from NO-earthquake country: In my life there has been just one small fart :dash: of an earthquake and I just slept through it :sleeping:.

The good news is that we bought an apartment in an old but very sturdy :muscle: building that has already survived :tada: the biggest earthquake in the last 70 years. Our neighbor already told us that we have to take cover just in front of the elevator and vividly :confetti_ball: told us how, from there, we will see the big concrete pillar in the living room dancing about :scream:, meanwhile the windows will flutter like a sail in the wind just holding integrity or exploding in all directions. She also told us that when moving towards the safe spot we should try and bring a cushion to go down the stairs afterwards, and we should always have a survival bag :school_satchel: ready with essentials :sos: to survive for a few days in the street :scream_cat:.

We will have our survival bags ready for our maximum occupancy of 8 people (including ourselves) but I have the following question:
How should we prepare guests for this unlikely event? Don’t we tell them anything to avoid them having sleepless nights over it? Do we just put some information in our information leaflet? Do we give instructions in our welcome chat like an "air"hostess?

To hosts in earthquake area: How do you handle this?
To all others: How would you as a guest like to be informed? Or what do you imagine doing as a host?

Thanks !


I can’t help, but this is an excellent question. We are in a hurricane zone, and I don’t have any particular guidance on what to do. I’m presuming our staff will take care of it but… maybe that’s a bad assumption!

I’m waiting with bated breath to hear the advice!

1 Like

@GutHend – DO NOT make yourself crazy worrying about What If.

If it were me, I would not scare potential guests away by having a whole bunch of We’re All Gonna Die earthquake preparedness verbage in your listing. I would however, write up an “escape plan” as outlined by your neighbor, and hand it to your guests as a “just in case” thing, and ask them to read it. Since you’ll be living in the space with guests, I would keep the survival or “bug out bag” as we call it in your personal space, not where guests can play with it.

Yes earthquakes happen. No warning signs, they just do. After you’ve lived there awhile, you’ll go through a couple, and get a feeling for what can/will happen and what you can do about it.

@PitonView – We’re in hurricane country too (South Florida). I think you are presuming too much – that your staff will take care of it. Smart people who want to stay alive, take their personal safety and lives personally. Never depend on someone else or some government agency for your safety during and after a natural disaster. Depending on someone else to save and take care of you does nothing but raise the body count.

The advantage that we have is that hurricane prediction science is pretty darn good and pretty accurate. However, do not listen to the talking heads on ordinary TV or The Weather Channel. Rely only on reports issued daily during “season” from the National Hurricane Center –

Why? TV news weather casters and The WX Channel are paid to make storms and such dramatic (for their ratings) – what we call Chicken Little or The Sky Is Falling, We’re ALL gonna Die!

We had guests from Minnesota who had booked with us early last year to come here this week. In September, when Irma came to town, these guests cancelled ALL of their AirBnb stays almost a week in advance – because they’d been convinced by TV weather people that Florida was basically going to disappear. Air graciously refunded everything, and they rebooked.

IF a hurricane is headed your way, contact Air immediately and tell them, and make sure they are taken care of.

DO prepare a Survival bag or bags. We keep ours in a couple of large totes in the garage. Include:

  • Bottled water for everyone for 10 days at 1/2 gallon per person per day.
  • Batteries and LED head strap “flashlights”. Candles are romantic but can be dangerous.
  • Sharp knives/machetes, saws, axes, hatchets, good stout rope, gloves, giant trash bags – for clearing the inevitable mess. A small chainsaw, if you know how to use one, will be invaluable in the aftermath, even if your place takes no damage.
  • Propane/butane/kerosene “camping stove” with fuel to last 2 weeks, plus matches and cigarette lighters to get the fire going.
  • Canned/dried foods for your number of people for 3 meals a days and at least 10 days.
  • If you can afford it, consult with neighbors and others in the know (not salespeople) and buy an adequate generator plus fuel for at least 10 days.
  • A First Aid kit large enough for your group size that contains more than just band-aids and aspirin – antihistamines, disinfectants, antibacterials, sunburn cream, bug repellants, soap, etc.
  • Toilet paper and paper towels – a dozen rolls of each.

On the West Coast of Canada here.
In the House Manual for guests there is a section titled “What to do in an Earthquake”, describing how to take shelter in their suite etc.

I suggest where we can convene after it’s safe to leave the house: Ie. a spot away from trees, buildings and power lines and reassure them I have enough food, water and hygiene supplies for all of us for one week, a full first aid kit, battery radio, solar cell-phone charger, tent, blankets, etc.

Ah, KenH, you suggest supplies for ten days. Thanks for that. I’m on it…Your entire post is excellent and may save lives.


Minnesota is tornado country. They should be used to stuff like that!

1 Like

I don’t know much about earthquakes but your post gets the emoji award!
Seriously though, I agree not to make a big deal about it and worry guests. Have a page available for folks to read if they are interested or concerned.


@KenH Don’t worry I’m not going crazy yet.

The place of the “bug out bags” still needs to be decided. I would just like to store them in the small hallway in front of the elevator, but there’s very little room. I will find a good solution however.

Luckily the guideline for water here isn’t as excesive: You are speaking of 5 gallons of waters per person, that’s about 19 Liter :open_mouth:. I know that that is the normal amount for 10 days of survival, but that would be 114 Liter (or Kilo) of water for our max.occupancy of 8. That would be a lot of water!
Here the guideline says two liters of water per person. I guess the Peruvian government is confident they will be able to supply water on the second day :worried: :smirk::rofl:. We will see what fits into the bag !

@Mike_L Thanks for the award ! :hugs:


Excellent response.


@jaquo So happy to see you here again !


We have an emergency weather radio, that’s powered with a crank or solar power. It also has a built in flashlight, but the reason it’s crucial for us is you can charge phones with it.

I need my ability to communicate in a crisis. :slight_smile:

As far as guests go, i get emergency weather texts sent to me and relay them when relevant. Like, guests were in Brooklyn and i texted them there was a flood watch, so the subway line might be closed between us and they should find a warm dry place to hang out for a few hours.


Thanks! So good to see you here again… thought maybe Irma did you in.

1 Like

I am in Southern California. We had a 3.3 quake week before last in the wee hours. It woke me up, but our guest from another state (one not used to quakes) didn’t message about it or even comment in his review.

Never thought about upping our emergency supplies to include a guest, but that’s a great idea.

Ha, it tried but I wouldn’t let it. :slight_smile:

It was funny really though. I’d only been out of the hospital for a few days and we had mandatory evacuation because we live east of Federal. So we evacuated to an Airbnb that was only about 50 yards west of Federal! I had visions of the hurricane raging up to Federal and then screeching to a halt cartoon-style.

So much for the mandatory evacuation - we’d only gone to a place about a mile away from home :slight_smile:

I didn’t know you’d been in hospital; hope it all worked out OK

We “refugeed out” all the way to Scotland and Iceland! Actually, we’d
already planned and booked a two-week vacation, and there was nothing we
could do. No sense in worrying. People were staying at Sally’s house, my
retirement boat was storm prepped anyway. Her place was 'mandatory evac’
by about the same as yours, and the folks here said ‘screw it, we’re
staying’. By that time the authorities weren’t bothering to check.

Across the Pod it was low 50s for daytime highs, cloudy and showery.
Perfect. When we came back the weekend after the storm is was 90s and
muggy. We were without power for 10 days. No real damage. No holes in the
pool cage; no shingles or siding missing. Lost one small tree; acquired a
yard full of other people’s downed branches.