AN EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE
YOUR CHECKLIST HOW TO STAY SAFE
Prepare Secure your house RESOURCES
n American Red Cross:
Stocking up now on emergency
How to prepare your home for
an earthquake, and what to do
around the house
Provides disaster relief,
including shelter, food and
supplies can add to your safety afterward: n Silicon Valley
and comfort after an earthquake. chapter: 408-577-1000
Store enough supplies for at least n Bay Area chapter
72 hours. covers San Francisco, San
Mateo County and East
FOOD SUPPLIES Bay: 415-427-8000
Water — 1 gallon per person per n Palo Alto chapter is
day for Palo Alto, Mountain
Water purification tablets or View and Los Altos:
chlorine bleach (boiling also is a
purifying method) n Santa Cruz County
Secure appliances chapter: 831-462-2881
Nonperishable food high in and tall furniture to wall
n Traffic: Details on traffic
calories and nutrition: canned, studs, not just to the conditions in the Bay Area:
water-packed meats, granola bars, wallboard. Appliances 511
dehydrated food, canned or dried could move and rupture
fruit, canned or powdered milk; gas or electric lines.
extra food for pets if necessary Furniture could topple,
Can opener (non-electric), causing damage and
cooking and eating utensils injuries.
Baby supplies: formula, bottle, Wall Place bed away from windows
pacifier, soap and baby wipes, studs and glass skylights, which could
diapers, canned food and juice shatter. Keep a flashlight, spare
batteries and sturdy shoes under
EMERGENCY SUPPLIES the bed. Shoes will protect you from
First aid broken glass on the floor.
Antibiotic ointment Strap water heater to studs in
Latex gloves wall with a thick metal strap.
Stow away or secure mirrors, picture
Diarrhea medication frames and other fragile wall hangings until
Equipment aftershocks subside.
Flashlights (do not use Closed blinds can prevent
matches, candles until you are broken glass from flying into Secure cabinet doors with latches. During
sure there is no gas leaking) the room. earthquake, doors of kitchen cabinets typically
Portable radio, spare batteries shake open and contents tumble to the floor.
Camp stove Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Keep heavier objects on lower shelves.
If water supply is cut off by an earthquake, drinking Consult a structural engineer to make
Blankets or sleeping bags
water is still available in your home in water heaters, sure that your home is bolted to the foundation
Shovel toilet tanks, in-house plumbing and melted ice cubes. and that the structure is properly reinforced.
Multipurpose dry chemical fire
extinguisher (ABC rating)
Garden hose for siphoning and
firefighting After quake
Adjustable wrench for turning
SHUTTING OFF UTILITIES
At least one change of clothing GAS WATER ELECTRICITY
and a pair of sturdy shoes
Shut off OFF o
T shut off electricity, turn
FAMILY PLAN water if a Main off single breakers first, then
Create a family evacuation plan quake causes breaker switch off main breaker.
Decide where your family will a leak in the
reunite if separated ON house. In most Single
Keep a list of emergency phone cases, the ON breakers
If you smell gas after an water shutoff
earthquake, shut off the main valve is the
Know the safe and danger spots gas valve. Use a wrench to first valve in the line after it comes
in each room in your house, work turn the valve either way until out of the ground, before it enters Switch
and school the valve is perpendicular to the house. If you have trouble finding
Make sure all family members the pipe. Attach a wrench to this valve, you can shut off the water
know how to shut off gas, water the meter with a wire so it will at the meter, using a special key you Pull the main fuse blocks
be there when you need it. can buy at a hardware store. out on older panels.
DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
n If you are elderly or have a mobility
IF YOU ARE INDOORS impairment, remain where you are,
IF YOU ARE OUTDOORS
Most people injured in earthquakes move more than five feet during the bracing yourself in place. Find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, In a mountainous area
shaking. Remember the following steps and move only a few steps to a streetlights and power lines. Drop to the In the mountains or near unstable slopes
nearby safe place: n If you are in bed, stay there, hold on, and ground and stay there until the shaking or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other
protect your head with a pillow. You are stops. Don’t rush. Many injuries result from debris that could be loosened by the
less likely to be injured if you stay in bed. hasty attempts to take cover. earthquake. Landslides are often
Broken glass on the floor can injure you.
triggered by earthquakes.
n Stay away from windows. Windows can If you are in a vehicle
shatter with such force that you can be Pull over to a clear location, stop, and stay In a coastal area
injured by flying glass even if you are there with your seat belt fastened until the When the shaking stops, move
several feet away. shaking stops. Stay away from trees, power immediately to higher ground.
n Stay indoors until the shaking stops and lines, poles, street signs, overpasses and Tsunamis (large, destructive ocean
you are sure it is safe to exit. In buildings in other overhead items that can fall during waves) are often generated by
the United States, you are safer if you stay earthquakes. Once the shaking has earthquakes.
where you are until the shaking stops. If you stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid
bridges or ramps that might have been On public transportation
Drop, cover and hold on n If there is no table or desk
go outside, move quickly away from the
BART, light rail or Caltrain typically will
building to prevent injury from falling debris. damaged by the quake. Be alert for an
n Drop under a desk or table, and nearby, get on the floor against an stop. Remain calm and follow instructions
n Fire alarm and sprinkler systems usually
aftershock. Aftershocks can continue over
hold on. Be prepared to move interior wall away from windows, from staff members, who have been
go off in buildings during an earthquake, a period of weeks or months, depending
with whatever you are under. bookcases or furniture that could trained to handle earthquake
Hold your position until shaking even if there is no fire. Check for and on the magnitude of the main quake.
fall on you. Protect your head and emergencies.
stops and it’s safe to move. neck with your arms. extinguish small fires, and exit via the stairs.
Sources: American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bay Area Regional Earthquake Preparedness Project, PG&E, KPIX-TV’s “How To Survive the Big One,” World Book MERCURY NEWS