Earthquakes in California are a fact of life, so you need to be prepared at any time for any magnitude. Read the tips below on how to prepare for and deal with the occurrence of an earthquake. We’ve also included some information on what and the why of these natural disasters.
To be prepared in the case of an earthquake, the Red Cross recommends:
• You should have a fully stocked emergency preparedness kit.
• An evacuation plan for your family and pets (your employer, child’s daycare or school, nursing homes, etc.).
• Know the safest places in each room of your home and other locations you frequent.
• Practice DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. (“DROP to the ground, take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or
• Discuss the topic and safety precautions with your family. Children need to understand as best they can so that if they experience an earthquake, they won’t be as frightened and will have an idea of what to do.
• Know “your community’s risk and response plans.”
• Get connected to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Get the smartphone app (iOS and Google Play) and find the broadcast frequency for your NOAA station.
• Keep a hand-crank or battery-powered emergency radio handy, as well as flashlights and sensible shoes (sneakers, low heels, etc.).
What to do during an earthquake:
• DROP, COVER, then HOLD.
• If you’re inside, stay inside.
• If you’re in a bed, stay there, lie face down, and cover your head and neck with a pillow and hold it there.
• The Red Cross says to “get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on.” Don’t count on standing in a doorway to keep you safe, because they’re “no stronger than any other part of a structure.”
• If in a vehicle, don’t pull over until you’re in an area clear of buildings, overpasses/underpasses, trees, or utility wires.
• When at all possible, avoid windows, outer walls, hanging objects, cabinets with objects inside, appliances, and other items that will easily shatter or move during the tremors.
• For more information on what to do in different locations, visit Earthquake.Country.org.
• According to Ready.gov (the official website of the Department of Homeland Security), “an earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock.
• They happen with no warning and can cause the collapse of buildings, road damage, fires, landslides, tsunamis, and avalanches.
• The reason California is prone to earthquakes is that “the state straddles the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is crisscrossed by the San Andreas and other active fault systems.”
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