Earthquake Information, Preparation Before & After
One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake
and its terrible aftereffects.
Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning at any time of the day or
night. If an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries
and extensive property damage.
Although there are no guarantees of safety during an earthquake, identifying potential
hazards ahead of time and advance planning can save lives and significantly reduce
injuries and property damage.
How can I protect myself from an earthquake?
• What to do before an earthquake
• What to do during an earthquake
• What to do after an earthquake

What to Do Before an Earthquake
Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without warning. Identifying potential hazards
ahead of time and advance planning can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of
life from an earthquake. Repairing deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations,
anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, and following local seismic building
standards, will help reduce the impact of earthquakes.

Six Ways to Plan Ahead

1.Check for Hazards in the Home
* Fasten shelves securely to walls.
* Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
* Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed           
cabinets with latches.
* Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and
anywhere people sit.
* Brace overhead light fixtures.
* Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire
* Secure a water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.
* Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs
of structural defects.
* Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with
latches and on bottom shelves.

2. Identify Safe Places Indoors and Outdoors
* Under sturdy furniture such as a heavy desk or table.
* Against an inside wall.
* Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy
bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.
* In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or
elevated expressways.

3. Educate Yourself and Family Members
* Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for
more information on earthquakes. Also read the "How-To Series" for information on how
to protect your property from earthquakes.
* Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio
station to tune to for emergency information.
*Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.

4. Have Disaster Supplies on Hand
* Flashlight and extra batteries.
* Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
* First aid kit and manual.
* Emergency food and water.
* Nonelectric can opener.
* Essential medicines.
* Cash and credit cards.
* Sturdy shoes.

5. Develop an Emergency Communication Plan
* In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real
possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a
plan for reuniting after the disaster.
* Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's
often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name,
address, and phone number of the contact person.

6. Help Your Community Get Ready
* Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on
earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency
services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.
* Conduct a week-long series on locating hazards in the home.
*Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special
reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do during an earthquake.
* Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.
* Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies about shutting off
* Work together in your community to apply your knowledge to building codes, retrofitting
programs, hazard hunts, and neighborhood and family emergency plans.