Are you ready for an Earthquake?
Information courtesy of:
American Red Cross
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S. Geological Survey Administration
Reprinted by Permission of the American Red Cross (1997)
Heres what you can do to prepare for an Earthquake.
Prepare a home Earthquake plan:
Choose a safe place in every room - under a sturdy table
or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall
Practice DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON at least twice a year.
Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect
your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If theres
no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior
wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that
could fall on you. Teach children to DROP, COVER, AND HOLD
- Choose an out-of-town family contact.
- Eliminate hazards, including:
Bolting bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture
to wall studs
- Installing strong latches on cupboards
- Strapping the water heater to wall studs
- Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter.
Keep your training current.
- Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from
your local fire department.
- Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
Prepare a disaster supplies kit for home and car:
Assemble disaster supplies including:
Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra
Keep essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes,
by your bedside.
At least three gallons of water per person, preferably
Canned food and can opener
First aid kit
Tools and instructions to shut off utilities
Sturdy shoes and work gloves
Know what to do when the shaking begins:
DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby
safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and youre
sure its safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In
a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers
to go off during a quake.
If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting
your head with a pillow.
If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings,
trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place
(as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking
Identify what to do after the shaking stops:
Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further
danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt,
sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious
Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards.
Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think its leaking
(remember, only a professional should turn it back on).
Listen to the radio for instructions.
Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER,
AND HOLD ON!
Inspect home for damage. Get everyone out if your home
Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
Plan and get ready:
Earthquakes can happen in most states...anytime...without
warning. Reducing hazards and knowing what to do can make
a big difference in how an earthquake impacts your household.
Adults and children in the household should talk about
what you will do when an earthquake happens.
This checklist will get you started in planning. Have
various members of the household complete each of the
items on the checklist below. Then get together to finalize
your Home Earthquake Plan.
Pick one or more safe places in each room of
your home. Practice DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! in each place.
Write the locations of safe places in each room of your
Living room:________________ Kitchen:___________________
Choose an out-of-town relative or friend to be family contact
Family contact:_______________ Phone number:_________________
Put together disaster supplies kits.
Location of home kit:_____________ Date assembled:______________
Shoes and flashlight put next to everyones bed:___________(date)
Smaller kit put in car:_______________________________(date)
Teach household members how to turn off utilities.
Location of gas and water valves and electrical switches
and turnoff tools:_______________________________________
Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets.
Secure water heater to wall studs with two steel straps.
Bolt bookcases, china cabinet, and tall furniture to wall
Secure items that might fall (TV, books, computers, etc.).
And remember...when an earthquake, hurricane, fire,
flood, or other emergency happens in your community, you
can count on your local American Red Cross chapter to be
there to help you and your family. Thats been the
role of the Red Cross for more than 100 years.
For more information, ask for the following brochures
from your local Red Cross chapter or emergency management
Your Family Disaster Plan (ARC4466)
Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit (ARC4463)
Revised April 1994