Regardless of where you live, the possibility of an earthquake is constant. However, proper planning and preparation can reduce the risk of property damage or personal injury.
Identify and Fix External Structural Weaknesses
- Examine your home's foundation and check for any structural damage
- Assure that larger openings in the lower floor (such as garage openings) and homes built on stilts are properly braced
- Secure water heaters by strapping them in two places to a wall stud
Click here for more tips on identifying and fixing all potential structural weaknesses outside of your dwelling.
Identify and Fix Internal Risks
- Relocate any items that are heavy enough to cause bodily injury should they fall away from beds and couches
- Install flexible connectors on gas appliances to reduce the risk of fire from rupture
- Make sure that falling items won't block your exit
- Install an automatic gas shut-off valve at the meter or keep the appropriate wrench nearby to do it yourself to minimize the risk of fire following an earthquake
Click here for more tips on identifying and fixing all potential risks inside your dwelling.
Create a Disaster Plan
- Make sure that you and your family members know what it means to "drop, cover and hold on" during an earthquake and periodically practice this drill at home
- Identify and communicate with household members the "safe spots" within the various areas of your home, such as the space underneath a sturdy table or desk
- Select a safe place outside for you and your family to meet following an earthquake
- Designate an out-of-area contact person who can relay information in the event of an emergency
Click here for additional tips on creating a disaster plan.
Create a Disaster Supply Kit
Should you need to evacuate, you will want to have the following items on hand:
- Medications along with doctors' names and contact information
- Basic first aid kit
- Bottled water
- Emergency cash
Create an Emergency Household Items Kit
An emergency household items kit should be able to sustain you and the members of your household for at least three days to a week, including:
- Canned and packaged food
- Drinking water (one gallon per person, per day)
- A charcoal or gas grill for cooking
- Warm clothing and/or blankets
- Pet supplies and restraints
Click here for more information on creating disaster supply and emergency household items kits.