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Earthquake Preparedness

Individual and Family Readiness

  • Create a Family Earthquake Plan
  • Know the safe spot in each room, (under sturdy tables, desks, or against inside walls).
  • Know the danger spots, (windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces and tall furniture).
  • Conduct practice drills. Physically place yourself and your children in safe locations.
  • Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) from your local Red Cross or other community organization.
  • Decide where your family will reunite, if separated.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Choose an out-of-state friend or relative whom family members can call after the quake to report your condition. Carry emergency contact cards with out of state contact phone numbers.
  • Develop a portable/auto survival kit for work and travel

Home Preparedness

  • Learn how to shut off gas, water, and electricity in case the lines are damaged.
  • Check chimneys, roofs, and wall foundations for stability. Note: If your home was built before 1935, make sure your house is bolted to its foundation. If your home is on a raised foundation, make sure the cripple walls have been made into shear walls. Call a licensed contractor if you have any questions.
  • Secure Heavy Furnishings
  • Secure water heater and appliances that could move enough to rupture utility lines.
  • Keep breakable and heavy objects on lower shelves. Put latches on cabinet doors to keep them closed during shaking.
  • Keep flammable or hazardous liquids such as paints, pest sprays, or cleaning products in cabinets or secured on lower shelves.
  • Maintain emergency food, water, medicine, first aid kit, tools, and clothing.

Community Preparedness

  • Suggest that local organizations (of which you are a member) undertake a specific preparedness program or acquire special training to be of assistance in the event of a damaging earthquake.
  • Participate in neighborhood earthquake preparedness programs.
  • Attend training for neighborhood residents in preparedness, first aid, fire suppression, damage assessment, and search and rescue.
  • Develop self-help networks between families and neighborhood through a skills and resources bank, which includes a listing of tools, equipment, materials, and neighborhood members who have special skills and resources to share.
  • Identify neighbors who have special needs or will require special assistance.
  • Have neighbors agree to hang a white flag (bed sheet) out after the quake if everyone and everything is OK.
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