Be Red Cross Ready
Earthquake Safety Checklist
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid Are you at increased risk from earthquakes?
shaking of the earth caused by the • Contact your local emergency management office, local American Red Cross
breaking and shifting of rock chapter, state geological survey or department of natural resources.
beneath the earth’s surface. • Mobile homes and homes not attached to their foundations are at particular risk
Earthquakes strike suddenly, during an earthquake.
without warning, and they can • Buildings with foundations resting on landfill and other unstable soils are at
occur at any time of the year, day or increased risk of damage.
night. Forty-five states and
territories in the United States are
Did you know?
Doorways are no stronger than any other part of the structure. During an earthquake,
at moderate to very high risk of
get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on. This will provide some protection
earthquakes, and they are located in from falling objects that can injure you during an earthquake.
every region of the country.
How can I prepare? What should I do during an What do I do after an earthquake?
Ë Become aware of fire evacuation and If you are inside when the shaking Ë After an earthquake, the disaster may
earthquake plans for all of the buildings starts … continue. Expect and prepare for
you occupy regularly. potential aftershocks, landslides or even a
Ë Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as tsunami. Tsunamis are often generated
Ë Pick safe places in each room of your possible. by earthquakes.
home, workplace and/or school. A safe
Ë If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and Ë Each time you feel an aftershock, drop,
place could be under a piece of furniture
hold on. Protect your head with a pillow. cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently
or against an interior wall away from
windows, bookcases or tall furniture that Ë Stay away from windows to avoid being occur minutes, days, weeks and even
could fall on you. injured by shattered glass. months following an earthquake.
Ë Practice drop, cover and hold on in each Ë Check yourself for injuries and get first
Ë Stay indoors until the shaking stops and
safe place. If you do not have sturdy aid, if necessary, before helping injured or
you are sure it is safe to exit. If you must
furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor trapped persons.
leave the building after the shaking stops,
next to an interior wall and cover your use stairs rather than an elevator in case Ë Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt,
head and neck with your arms. there are aftershocks, power outages or sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect
other damage. against injury from broken objects.
Ë Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each
person’s bed. Ë Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler Ë Look quickly for damage in and around
systems frequently go off in buildings your home and get everyone out if your
Ë Make sure your home is securely
during an earthquake, even if there is home is unsafe.
anchored to its foundation.
Ë Listen to a portable, battery-operated or
Ë Bolt and brace water heaters and gas hand-crank radio for updated emergency
If you are outside when the shaking
appliances to wall studs. information and instructions.
Ë Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other Ë Check the telephones in your home or
Ë Find a clear spot and drop to the ground.
tall furniture to wall studs. workplace to see if you can get a dial tone.
Stay there until the shaking stops (away
Ë Hang heavy items, such as pictures and from buildings, power lines, trees, Make brief calls to report life-threatening
mirrors, away from beds, couches and streetlights). emergencies.
anywhere people sleep or sit. Ë Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire
Ë If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear
location and stop. Avoid bridges, is the most common hazard after an
Ë Brace overhead light fixtures.
overpasses and power lines if possible. earthquake.
Ë Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened Ë Clean up spilled medications, bleach,
Large or heavy items should be closest to until the shaking stops. Then, drive gasoline or other flammable liquids
the floor. carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that immediately.
Ë Learn how to shut off the gas valves in may have been damaged.
Ë Open closet and cabinet doors carefully as
your home and keep a wrench handy for Ë If a power line falls on your vehicle, do contents may have shifted.
that purpose. not get out. Wait for assistance.
Ë Help people who require special
Ë Learn about your area’s seismic building Ë If you are in a mountainous area or near assistance, such as infants, children and
standards and land use codes before you unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for the elderly or disabled.
begin new construction. falling rocks and other debris. Landslides
Ë Watch out for fallen power lines or broken
are often triggered by earthquakes.
Ë Keep and maintain an emergency supplies zycnzj.com/http://www.zycnzj.com/ gas lines and stay out of damaged areas.
kit in an easy-to-access location.
Ë Keep animals under your direct control.
Ë Stay out of damaged buildings.
Ë If you were away from home, return only
when authorities say it is safe to do so.
Let Your Family Know You’re Safe
Use extreme caution and examine walls,
floors, doors, staircases and windows to
If your community experiences an earthquake, or any disaster, register on the American Red check for damage.
Cross Safe and Well Web site available through RedCross.org to let your family and friends
know about your welfare. If you don’t have Internet access, call 1-866-GET-INFO to register Ë Be careful when driving after an earthquake
yourself and your family. and anticipate traffic light outages.
For more information on disaster and emergency preparedness, visit RedCross.org.
Copyright © 2009 by the American National Red Cross | Stock No. 658515