The time to prepare for an earthquake is NOW…not next week or after the shock. Protect your family by taking the actions on the BEFORE CHECKLIST as soon as you can. It’s a good idea to make copies of the DURING CHECKLIST and post them by your house and garage exits and in all your family cars.
Before the Earthquake
- Identify safe spots in each room of your home. Note sturdy tables, desks and interior walls. Know your danger spots: windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces, and tall, unsecured furniture.
- Conduct practice drills with your family and know the safest locations in your home.
- Decide how and where your family will reunite, if separated during and earthquake.
- Choose an out-of-state friend or relative to contact so family and friends know your status.
- Learn First Aid and CPR and put together a First Aid Kit.
- Learn how to shut off gas, water and electricity; it may be necessary during an earthquake.
- Check Chimneys, roofs, walls, and foundations for stability – make sure your house is bolted to its foundation.
- Secure your water heater and major appliances as well as tall, heavy furniture, hanging plants, mirrors and picture frames. Visit www.daretoprepare.org online for ways to secure your home.
- Keep breakables, heavy objects, and flammable or hazardous liquids such as paints, pest sprays and cleaning products in secured cabinets or on lower shelves.
- Participate in organizing your neighborhood to be self-sufficient after an earthquake.
- If indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table or stand in a corner. Stay away from windows bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants and other heavy objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster and ceiling tiles. Stay under cover – if it moves, move with it.
- If outdoors, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines.
- If driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid areas around power lines. Stay in your car until the shaking is over.
- If in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doors. Crouch and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.