Earthquakes strike without warning. Identifying potential hazards and advance planning before an earthquake strikes can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life. City of Hope and local, state and national disaster preparedness experts recommend key steps to get ready:
- Prepare a home earthquake plan. This plan should include choosing a spot in every room, such as a sturdy table, that is a shelter from falling objects.
- Eliminate hazards. That means bolting bookcases and cabinets to wall studs, installing latches on cupboards, strapping water heaters to the wall and other protective measures.
- Prepare a disaster supply kit for the home and car. This should include a first-aid kit, water, canned food, an extra pair of sturdy shoes and other essentials.
- Understand what to do when the shaking begins. Those indoors should stay indoors, and stay away from windows, until the shaking stops and it is safe to exit. Those outdoors should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees and power lines, and drop to the ground.
- Know what to do when the shaking stops. After making sure no one nearby is injured, look for and extinguish any small fires, listen to a radio for instructions and inspect the area for damage.
For detailed information on preparedness, visit www.ready.gov, www.redcross.org or www.oes.ca.gov.