Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

Scientists now agree that the likelihood of a major earthquake (extent of 6.7 or higher) hitting Southern California within the next 30 years is almost unavoidable. Such an event could have a extreme impact on our future, but with proper preparation we can avoid some of the destruction. To create awareness, the Earthquake Country Alliance has developed the annual “Great Southern California ShakeOut,” an enormous earthquake drill to take place this year on October 15. Millions of people have registered from businesses, schools and other organizations to participate in the drill and practice the proper techniques to take in the event of a enormous earthquake.

Get organized and take these seven protective steps:

  1. clarify and fix possible hazards in homes, office and schools:
    1. keep up in a place appliances, furniture, hanging objects and cabinet doors
    2. Cover windows with mylar film or replace with safety glass
    3. Know where and how to turn off your water, gas and electricity
  2. Design a disaster plan-make lists of “What to Prepare” and “What to Learn and Practice.”
  3. Create disaster plan supply kits:
    1. Personal disaster kits: walking shoes, medication, out-of-state emergency contact numbers, cash, vital documents and personal hygiene supplies
    2. Household disaster kits: radio, flashlight, batteries, two-weeks supply of bottled water, canned food, whistle, cooking fuel, medical supplies, blankets, tools, pet supplies and warm clothing
  4. Fix any structural weaknesses:
    1. Inadequate foundations, first stories and unbraced walls
    2. Compromised masonry and unprotected pipes
  5. During earthquakes and aftershocks:
    1. Indoors: Drop, cover and keep up on
    2. Outdoors: Move clear of buildings, strength lines and trees
    3. Driving: Pull over to a safe identify away from structures
    4. Stadiums: Stay in your seat
  6. After the shaking stops, check for injuries requiring immediate attention.
  7. Once safe, follow your disaster plan.

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