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7 STEPS TO EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL

PREPARATION AND KNOWLEDGE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE

EARTHQUAKES ARE INEVITABLE

BUT DEATH AND DESTRUCTION FOLLOWING A QUAKE ARE NOT

earthquake in Haiti

The 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Haiti devastated the island nation and killed an estimated 150,000 people.

THE SEVEN STEPS TO EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL

Preparing for the next damaging earthquake can help you and your family to survive and recover. By following them, you can not only avoid costly damage to your home, but you can keep your family safe from injury.

You should follow these steps not only at home but in school and your workplace.

STEP 1

Secure your space

  • Hang plants in lightweight pots with closed hooks, well secured to a joist or stud and far away from windows
  • Install strong latches on kitchen cabinets.
  • Use flexible connections where gas lines meet appliances.
  • Remove or lock refrigerator wheels, secure to studs.
  • Secure valuable electronics items such as computers and televisions.
  • Keep breakables in low or secure cabinets with latches.
  • Move heavy plants and other large items to floor or low shelves.
  • Hang mirrors and pictures on closed hooks, and secure them to walls with velcro.
  • Secure free-standing wood stoves or fireplace inserts.
  • Keep heavy unstable objects away from doors and exit routes.
  • Place bed away from windows or items that may fall and place only light weight/soft items over bed.
  • Secure knick knacks and other small valuables with museum putty.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Secure top-heavy furniture to studs.
  • Secure water heater with metal straps attached to studs.
  • Trim hazardous tree limbs.

STEP 2

Create a plan
Creating an earthquake escape plan is very much like creating a family escape plan for any emergency. Learn more about escape plans here

STEP 3

Prepare disaster kits
Preparing a survival kit will guarantee you have access to necessary items if you have to leave your home in a hurry, or if you have to shelter in place without electricity or running water for a period of time. Learn more about what to put in your kit here

Other items to have on hand in an emergency like an earthquake include:

  • Store fire extinguisher (type ABC is most universal) in easily accessible location.
  • Keep several flashlights in easily accessible places around the house and don’t forget to store extra batteries with them.
  • Keep wrench or turn-off tool in water proof wrap near gas meter.
  • Know the location of your main electrical switch (fuse box or circuit breaker).
  • Have your emergency plan accessible and discuss with all family members.
  • Know whether you live, work, or play in a tsunami hazard zone.
  • Obtain a NOAA Weather Radio with the Public Alert feature to notify you of tsunamis and other hazards.
  • Keep gas tank at least half full.

STEP 4

Strengthen your home

  • Use anchor bolts every 4 to 6 feet to secure home to foundation. It’s one of the many earthquake-smart building codes enforced in the state of California.
  • Reinforce brick chimneys.

STEPS 5

During the earthquake

  • Drop
  • Cover
  • And Hold On!

Learn more about this life saving technique here

STEP 6

After the initial shaking stops

  • Check you and those around you for injuries
  • Check your surroundings for damage

STEP 7

After the earthquake
When it’s safe, continue to follow your emergency plan. That’s why you thoughtfully prepared such a detailed plan. It’s there to provide peace of mind and necessary items to make your recovery from the earthquake as painless and worry-free as possible.

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