MOST CALIFORNIANS LIVE NEAR AN ACTIVE EARTHQUAKE FAULT.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Follow the guidelines in this Brochure.
EARTHQUAKE - California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Would you be ready
to ride it out if an
earthquake hit today?
With some basic planning and
thinking ahead, preparing your
easy. These tips
on what to do
before, during and
after an earthquake were developed by the California Governor’s
Office of Emergency Services to
help you get ready to ride it out!
Before An Earthquake
How well you, your family and your home survive an
earthquake often depends upon how well you prepare
beforehand. Develop a family and neighborhood
The following checklist will help you
- Prepare an emergency kit of food,water, and
supplies including a flashlight, portable battery operated
radio, batteries, medicines, first aid kit,
money and clothing.
- Know the safe spots in each room—under sturdy
tables, desks, or against interior walls.
- Know the danger spots—near windows, mirrors,
hanging objects, fireplaces and tall, unsecured
- Conduct practice drills so you and your family
know the safe locations in your home.
- Decide how and where your family will reunite if
separated during a quake.
- Choose an out-of-state friend or relative who family
members can call after the quake to report their
whereabouts and conditions.
- Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary
- Learn how to shut off gas,water, and electricity in
case the lines are damaged.SAFETY NOTE: Do not
attempt to relight the gas pilot. Call the utility
- Check chimneys, roofs,walls and foundations for
stability. Make sure your house is bolted to its
- Secure your water heater and major appliances as
well as tall, heavy furniture, hanging plants, mirrors
and picture frames—especially those over beds.
- Keep breakables, heavy objects, flammable or
hazardous liquids such as, paints, pest sprays and
cleaning products, in secured cabinets or on lower
- Organize your neighborhood to be self-sufficient
after a quake.
During An Earthquake
- If indoors, stay there. Get under a desk or table or
stand in a corner.
- If outdoors, get into an open area away from trees,
buildings, walls and power lines.
- If in a high-rise building, stay away from windows
and outside walls. Get under a table. Do not use
- If driving, pull over to the side of the road and
stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside
your car until the shaking is over.
- If in a crowded public place, do not rush for the
doors. Crouch and cover your head and neck with
your hands and arms.
After An Earthquake
- Unless there is an immediate, life-threatening
emergency, do not attempt to use the telephone.
After a quake, be sure to:
- Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical
wiring or sewage lines. If there is damage, turn the
utility off at the source and immediately report gas
leaks to your utility company. Check for downed
power lines;warn others to stay away.
- Check your building for cracks and damage,
including the roof, chimneys and foundation.
- Turn on your portable radio for instructions and
news reports. For your own safety, cooperate fully
with public safety officials and follow instructions.
- Do not use your vehicle unless there is an
emergency. Keep the streets clear for emergency
- Be prepared for aftershocks.
- Stay calm and lend a hand to others.
- If you evacuate, leave a message at your home
telling family members and others where you can
Can You Go It Alone For Three Days?
The first 72 hours after an earthquake are critical.
Electricity, gas, water, and telephones may not be
working. In addition, public safety services such
as police and fire departments will be busy
handling serious crises. You should be prepared
to be self-sufficient—able to live without running
water, electricity and/or gas, and telephones—for
at least three days following a quake. To do so,
keep on hand in a central location the following:
- Food. Enough for 72 hours, preferably one week.
- Water. Enough so each person has a gallon a day
for 72 hours, preferably one week. Store in airtight
containers and replace it every six months. Store
disinfectants such as iodine tablets or chlorine
bleach, eight drops per gallon, to purify water if
- First aid kit. Make sure it’s well stocked,
especially with bandages and disinfectants.
- Fire extinguisher.Your fire extinguisher should
be suitable for all types of fires.Teach all family
members how to use it.
- Flashlights with extra batteries. Keep
flashlights besides your bed and in several other
locations. DO NOT use matches or candles after an
earthquake until you are certain there are
no gas leaks.
- Portable radio with extra batteries. Most
telephones will be out of order or limited to
emergency use.The radio will be your best
source of information.
- Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money.
- Alternate cooking sources. Store a barbecue or
camping stove for outdoor camping. CAUTION:
Ensure there are no gas leaks before you use any
kind of fire as a cooking source and do not use
- Special items. Have at least a week’s supply of
medications and food for infants and those with
special needs. Don’t forget pet food.
- Tools. Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for
turning off gas and water.