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Earthquake Preparedness

Are you prepared for an Earthquake?

An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface or by an explosion. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides or rockslides, they can happen anywhere and anytime without warning.

Here are some safety tips for ways to be prepared for an earthquake.


Safety Tips

Pick "safe places" in each room of your home.

A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk, or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. The shorter the distance to move to safety, the less likely you will be injured. Injury statistics show that persons moving more than 10 feet during an earthquake's shaking are most likely to experience injury.


Practice drop, cover, and hold-on in each safe place.

Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. Practicing will make these actions an automatic response. When an earthquake or other disaster occurs, many people hesitate, trying to remember what they are supposed to do. Responding quickly and automatically may help protect you from injury.


Practice drop, cover, and hold-on at least twice a year.

Frequent practice will help reinforce safe behavior.


Inform guests, babysitters, and caregivers of your plan.

Everyone in your home should know what to do if an earthquake occurs. Assure yourself that others will respond properly even if you are not at home during the earthquake.


Get training.

Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Get training on how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department. Keep your training up-to-date. Training will help you to keep calm and know what to do when an earthquake occurs.


Discuss earthquakes with your family.

Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Discussing earthquakes ahead of time helps reduce fear and anxiety and lets everyone know how to respond.


Bolt bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs.

Brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects. During an earthquake, these items can fall over, causing damage or injury.


Move large or heavy objects and fragile items (glass or china) to lower shelves.

There will be less damage and less chance of injury if these items are on lower shelves.


Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.

Earthquakes can knock things off walls, causing damage or injury.


Consider having your building evaluated by a professional structural design engineer.

Ask about home repair and strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, front and back decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports, and garage doors. Learn about additional ways you can protect your home. A professional can give you advice on how to reduce potential damage.


For a look at a presentation on readiness practices, please view the video below. 


Earthquake Readiness Video



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