Before An Earthquake
- Check your house to see where the hazards are such as heavy objects that could fall off selves, breakable items (such as mirrors, glass, pictures, lamps), and overhead fixtures.
- Make sure to repair any electrical or gas issues immediately because these can lead to fires!
- Find places in your home that can protected during an earthquake: under sturdy furniture, against an inside wall, away from where glass could shatter (windows, mirrors)
- If outside, find a place away from buildings, trees, electrical wiring (might be tricky if you're in the city but try).
- Many don't realize how important these supplies will be in an event of an earthquake, so go to the store and get these supplies because it could save your life!
- flashlight and batteries, a great idea is to get a flashlight that is manually operated with a crank
- portable battery or crank operated radio
- first aid kit and manual
- emergency food and water (get those cans of lentils, power bars, and cases of water bottles)
- can opener
- essential medicines if applicable
- cash and credit cards (always have a supply of cash, at least $100, ATM machines might not be working)
- sturdy shoes (hiking shoes, sneakers, etc)
Emergency Communication Plan
- Sometimes family members/housemates are separated during an earthquake (at school, work, etc). Develop a plan to get in touch with them for you can meet up after the disaster.
- Have an out-of-state relative or friend that will be the 'family contact' so everyone can call them to check in with each other if necessary.
- Check out our Local Emergency Contacts on our Living Here > Essentials page.
- Maybe we can have a neighborhood earthquake evacuation section?
During an Earthquake
Stay where you are during an earthquake; it becomes more dangerous when you start moving.
- DROP to the ground, take COVER, and HOLD ON to something sturdy.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors
- If in bed, stay there until the shaking stops. Cover your head with a pillow and move away from heavy wall hangings if applicable.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if its' in close proximity
- Stay inside until shaking stops
- DO NOT use the elevators, stairs only!!
- Stay there, move away from buildings, streetlights, utility wires.
If in a moving vehicle
- Stop as quickly and safely as possible
- Stay in vehicle
- Avoid stopping near or under buildings
- Once shaking has stopped, avoid roads, bridges or ramps that might have been damaged during the quake.
If trapped under debris
- DO NOT light a match.
- DO NOT move about or kick up dust
- Cover your mouth and tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you
- DO NOT shout, because you could inhale a dangerous amount of dust
After an Earthquake
Expect aftershocks: While these are usually less violent, they can add additional damage and can occur anytime
Listen to radio or television: Listen for latest emergency information (Twitter could be used as an option as well)
Use telephones only for emergency calls.
Open cabinets and drawers cautiously, stay away from damaged areas if applicable.
Be aware of possible tsunamis: These are known as seismic sea waves. (Hear those horns and announcements in SF< those are emergency tests)
Help injured or trapped persons.
Inspect utilities and the entire length of chimneys for damage.
Alright, well that's how we prepare before, during and after for future earthquakes. If you have any questions or comments feel free to ask, and spread the word about this important information on Twitter @colevalleysf, #colevalley #earthquake.
Adapted from FEMA's website: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/eq_after.shtm