Be Prepared- Earthquakes
View a list of all recent earthquakes events in California and Nevada
View a map of recent earthquakes events in California and Nevada
Can You Go It Alone For Three
The first 72 hours after an earthquake are critical.
Electricity, gas, water, and telephones may not be working. In addition, public
safety services such as police and fire departments will be busy handling serious
crises. You should be prepared to be self-sufficientable to live without
water, electricity and/or gas, and telephonesfor at least three days following
a quake. To do so, keep on hand in a central location the following:
- Food. Enough for 72 hours, preferably one week.
- Water. Enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably
one week. Store in airtight
containers and replace it every six months. Store disinfectants such as iodine
tablets or chlorine bleach, eight drops per gallon, to purify water if necessary.
- First aid kit. Make sure its well stocked, especially with bandages
- Fire extinguisher.Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types
of fires.Teach all family members how to use it.
- Flashlights with extra batteries. Keep flashlights besides your bed and
in several other
locations.DO NOT use matches or candles after an earthquake until you are
certain there are no gas leaks.
- Portable radio with extra batteries. Most telephones will be out of order
or limited to emergency use.The radio will be your best source of information.
- Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money.
- Alternate cooking sources. Store a barbecue or camping stove for outdoor
camping.CAUTION: Ensure there are no gas leaks before you use any kind of
fire as a cooking source and do not use charcoal indoors.
- Special items. Have at least a weeks supply of medications and food
for infants and those with
special needs. Dont forget pet food.
- Tools. Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off gas and water.
Before An Earthquake
How well you, your family and your home survive an earthquake often depends
upon how well you prepare beforehand.Develop a family and neighborhood earthquake
plan.The following checklist will help you get started:
- Prepare an emergency kit of food,water, and supplies including a flashlight,
- Know the safe spots in each roomunder sturdy tables, desks, or against
- Know the danger spotsnear windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces
and tall, unsecured furniture.
- Conduct practice drills so you and your family know the safe locations in
- Decide how and where your family will reunite if separated during a quake.
- Choose an out-of-state friend or relative who family members can call after
the quake to report their whereabouts and conditions.
- Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation.)
- Learn how to shut off gas,water, and electricity in case the lines are damaged.SAFETY
NOTE: Do not attempt to relight the gas pilot. Call the utility company.
- Check chimneys, roofs,walls and foundations for stability.Make sure your
house is bolted to its foundation.
- Secure your water heater and major appliances as well as tall, heavy furniture,
hanging plants, mirrors and picture framesespecially those over beds.
- Keep breakables, heavy objects, flammable or hazardous liquids such as,
paints, pest sprays and cleaning products, in secured cabinets or on lower
- Organize your neighborhood to be self-sufficient
after a quake.
During An Earthquake
- If indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table or stand in a corner.
- If outdoors, get into an open area away from trees, buildings,walls and
- If in a high-rise building, stay away from windows and outside walls. Get
under a table. Do not use elevators.
- If driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses
and power lines. Stay inside your car until the shaking is over.
- If in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doors. Crouch and cover
your head and neck with your hands and arms.
After An Earthquake
Unless there is an immediate, life-threatening emergency, do not attempt to
use the telephone.
After a quake, be sure to:
- Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical wiring or sewage lines.
If there is damage, turn the utility off at the source and immediately report
gas leaks to your utility company. Check for downed power lines;warn others
to stay away.
- Check your building for cracks and damage, including the roof, chimneys
- Turn on your portable radio for instructions and news reports. For your
own safety, cooperate fully with public safety officials and follow instructions.
- Do not use your vehicle unless there is an emergency. Keep the streets
clear for emergency vehicles.
- Be prepared for aftershocks.
- Stay calm and lend a hand to others.
- If you evacuate, leave a message at your home telling family members and
others where you can be found.
Excepted from the California Governors Office of Emergency Services
Preparedness Tip Sheets