Earthquakes are unpredictable and can strike without warning. What’s more, they can also cause serious harm to you and your family. That’s why it’s important to know how to prepare for an earthquake and develop a plan to react quickly and safely if a disaster strikes. Keep reading for earthquake preparedness and response tips.
Preparing for an Earthquake
- Locate and learn how to use the shutoff valves for water, gas and electricity in your home.
- Prepare an emergency earthquake kit with a first-aid kit, warm clothing, nonperishable food items and bottled water to last you and your family for at least 72 hours.
- Bolt down and secure to the wall studs your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances.
- Hold earthquake drills with your family members. Specifically, make sure to practice the “drop, cover and hold on” method.
During an Earthquake
- Remain inside of your home and seek shelter under a heavy table or desk, or brace yourself inside a doorframe or inside wall.
- Stay at least 15 feet away from windows and out of kitchens and garages, if possible.
- Stay under the structure that is protecting you. If the shaking causes the table or desk to move, then you should move with it so you remain protected.
- Don’t panic. Encourage the rest of your family to stay calm.
After the Earthquake
When the earthquake is over, remain in place for at least a few minutes, in case there are any aftershocks. Don’t leave your home unless it is necessary to do so. Then, check on your family members to see if they are injured. Administer first aid, if needed. If any family members are severely hurt, contact emergency services immediately.
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