Earthquake Survival Tips

Californians are constantly aware of the potential of an earthquake creating damage and creating dangerous conditions.  If we do not properly prepare, the next quake may cause greater personal damage than necessary.  Each item listed below won't stop the next earthquake, but it may help you survive better.

4 Basics to Do During an Earthquake

  • Stay calm
  • Inside: Stand in a doorway or crouch under a desk or table away from windows or glass dividers
  • Outside: Stand away from buildings, trees, telephone, and electric lines
  • On the road: Drive away from underpasses/overpasses; stop in a safe area and stay in vehicle.

6 Basics to Do After an Earthquake

  • Check for injuries - provide first aid
  • Check for safety - check for gas, water, sewage breaks; check for downed electric lines and shorts; turn off appropriate utilities; check for building damage and potential safety problems during aftershocks such as cracks around chimney and foundation.
  • Clean up dangerous spills.
  • Wear shoes.
  • Turn on a radio and listen for instructions from public safety agencies
  • Do not use the telephone except for emergency use.

14 Survival Items to Keep on Hand

  • Portable radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit - including specific medicines needed for members of your household
  • First Aid Book
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Adjustable wrench for turning off gas and water
  • Smoke detector properly installed
  • Portable fire escape ladder for homes with multiple floors.
  • Bottled water - sufficient for the members in your household.
  • Canned and dried foods sufficient for a week for each member of your household.  Note: Both water and food should be rotated into normal meals of household so as to keep freshness.  Canned foods have a normal shelf-life of one year for maximum freshness.
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Whistle
  • Portable stove such as butane or charcoal.  Note: Use of such stoves should not take place until it is determined there is no gas leak in the area.  Charcoal should be burned outdoors only.  Use of charcoal indoors will lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Matches
  • Telephone numbers of police, fire, and doctorl

3 Things You Need to Know

  • How to turn off gas, water, and electricity
  • First Aid
  • Plan for reuniting your family.