Prepare a Home Earthquake Plan

  • Choose a safe place in every room–under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall, far from anything that can fall on you.
  • Practice drop, cover and hold on at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there is no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. Teach children to DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
  • Choose an out-of-town family contact and make sure that everyone has their phone number memorized
  • Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home: bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.
  • Take a first aid class and keep your training current
  • Get training on how to properly use a fire extinguisher
  • Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan

Eliminate Hazards

  • Bolting bookcases, cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs
  • Installing strong latches on cupboards
  • Strapping the water heater to wall studs
  • Do not place heavy objects above your beds

Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit For Home and Car

  • First aid kit, essential medications, and hygiene items
  • Dried and canned food and can opener
  • At least three gallons of water per person
  • Protective clothing, raingear, and bedding or sleeping bags
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members and pets
  • Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you will need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
  • Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside

Know What to Do When the Shaking Begins

  • DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees and power lines. Drop to the ground.
  • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

Identify What to Do After the Shaking Stops

  • Check yourself for injuries: Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves.
  • Check others for injuries: Give first aid for serious injuries.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it is leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
  • Listen to the radio for instructions
  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
  • Inspect your home for damage: Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies