Here in California, it is no secret that earthquakes are a potential reality. To minimize your risk of injury, learn and practice what to do before, during and after an earthquake occurs:
Minimize hazards in the home by doing the following earthquake preparedness tips:
- Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs. Install flexible fittings for gas and water pipes.
- Bolt tall furniture to wall studs. Brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects.
- Hang pictures, mirrors and shelves away from areas where people sleep or sit. Brace overhead light fixtures.
- Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Latches will prevent cabinets from opening and spilling the contents.
- Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products securely in closed, latched metal cabinets.
- Be sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
- Repair deep cracks in foundations and ceilings.
- Consider purchasing earthquake insurance.
Think through your response:
- Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed.
- Discuss your emergency plan with members of your household.
- Designate a “family contact.” make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
- Practice “drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place at least twice a year.
- Pick “safe places” indoors. Choose spots within a couple steps of where you’d most likely be.
- Locate safe places outdoors in the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways.
- Be aware that fire alarm and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
- If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
- If you are in an area near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.
Learn more about disaster preparedness with these tips form the American Red Cross.