Speaking of widespread earthquake devastation, Japan's 8.9 earthquake is a strong reminder that, yes, you really do need an earthquake kit. Seriously. After the Loma Prieta earthquake, an estimated 12,000 Bay Area residents found themselves "displaced permanently or temporarily." Homes that remained intact experienced no water, electricity and phone service for days. The Chronicle has a comprehensive list of things you need during a quake - i.e., water, food, first-aid kit, tools, supplies, sanitation, clothes, bedding, and documents - which you should look over immediately.