What to do Before/During/After an Earthquake

Most of you have probably heard all the talk about the massive 9.0+ earthquake and 700 mile long tsunami that, according to The New Yorker, could hit the Pacific Northwest. Whether or not the science behind this logic and prediction is correct, it is important to be educated and ready if someday an earthquake does happen in your area.

Check out these tips from the State of California.


How to Prepare for an Earthquake

  • Stay stocked up on food and essentials

Electricity, water, gas and telephones may not be working after an earthquake. The police and fire departments are likely to be tied up. You should be prepared to fend for yourself for at least three days, preferably for a week.

  • Have these supplies on hand

You’ll need food and water (a gallon a day per person); a first aid kit; a fire extinguisher suitable for all types of fires; flashlights; a portable radio; extra batteries, blankets, clothes, shoes and money (ATM’s may not work); medication; an adjustable pipe or wrench to turn off gas or water, if necessary; baby and pet food, and an alternate cooking source (barbecue or camp stove). This list can also be applied to other disasters, such as floods or wildfires.

  • Make a plan with your family

It’s a good idea to decide beforehand how and where your family will reunite if separated during a quake.

  • Secure heavy objects to the wall

Securing water heaters, major appliances, and tall, heavy furniture to prevent them from toppling


edropcoverholdon_eng_colorDuring the Earthquake

  • If you’re indoors, stay there. Get under — and hold onto –a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. Stay clear of exterior walls, glass, heavy furniture, fireplaces and appliances. The kitchen is a particularly dangerous spot.


  • If you’re in an office building, stay away from windows and outside walls and do not use the elevator.


  • If you’re outside, get into the open. Stay clear of buildings, power lines or anything else that could fall on you.


  • If you’re driving, move the car out of traffic and stop. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses. Try to get clear of trees, light posts, signs and power lines. When you resume driving, watch out for road hazards.


  • If you’re in a mountainous area, beware of the potential for landslides.


  • If you’re near the ocean, be aware that tsunamis are associated with large earthquakes. Get to high ground.


  • If you’re in a crowded public place, avoid panicking and do not rush for the exit. Stay low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.


After the Earthquake

  • Check for fire or fire hazards. If you smell gas, shut off the main gas valve. If there’s evidence of damage to electrical wiring, shut off the power at the control box.


  • If the phone is working, only use it in case of emergency.


  • Likewise, avoid driving if possible to keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.


  • Be aware that items may fall out of cupboards or closets when the door is opened, and also that chimneys can be weakened and fall with a touch.


  • Check for cracks and damage to the roof and foundation of your home.


  • Listen to the radio for important information and instructions. Remember that aftershocks are sometimes large enough to cause damage.


  • If you leave home, leave a message telling friends and family your location.