Get ready for serious earthquakes by taking the following precautions:
- Identify safe spots to ride out temblors at home and work. Examples include underneath sturdy tables or desks, beneath well-supported doorways and inside small rooms or hallways.
- Establish an out-of-town contact who can coordinate family members' locations and information in case you become separated from loved ones.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows emergency telephone numbers and addresses.
- Prepare family disaster-supply kits and keep them in the home and car. The packs should include a flashlight, batteries, a radio, water, a three-day supply of non-perishable food, medicine, a backup set of keys and extra clothing.
- Take a first-aid class from a local Red Cross chapter, and keep your training current.
- Eliminate home hazards by bolting bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs; remove any unsecured items, such as mirrors, from over beds; install strong latches on cupboards; and strap the water heater to wall studs.
During an earthquake, people inside buildings should:
- Use the "drop, cover and hold" technique - drop to the ground under a table or desk, cover your head and neck with your arm as protection from flying debris, and hold on to a table or desk leg to keep the furniture from sliding away.
- Avoid taking cover by windows, near heavy furnishings that can tip over or in doorways with metal frames.
If outdoors when a quake strikes, you should:
- Stay away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines.
- Crouch down and cover your head.
- If inside a vehicle, park away from the aforementioned objects, avoid bridges and stay inside with your seat belt fastened until the ground stops
After an earthquake, people in affected areas should:
- Stay indoors until you hear an official announcement that the quake has ended.
- Check yourself and others for injuries.
- Check your home for damage and report any problems to the appropriate authorities.
- Look for and extinguish any small fires and eliminate potential combustion hazards.
- Turn off the gas if you think it's leaking (and remember that only a professional should turn it back on).
- If your home seems unsafe, get everyone outside.
- Monitor news reports for updates.
- Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves.
- Use the phone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
- Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, use the drop, cover and hold technique.
You can find more earthquake safety tips at:
Police Public Information Office