Know What To Do
Before, During, &
After a Major Earthquake
BEFORE THE SHAKING
Prepare your family
Discuss the possible effects of an earthquake on your home, workplace, school, and
Hold home discussions and drills to avoid injury during an earthquake.
Train family members in first aid.
Learn how to shut off electricity, gas, and water at main fuse box or valve.
Establish a family reunion plan. Teach family members the phone number of an out-of-area
Set aside emergency supplies
Food and water for at least 72 hours
Wrenches to shut off gas and water
First aid kit and handbook
Fire extinguisher, ABC multipurpose type
Non-electric can opener
Personal medical supplies
Check your home for potential risks
- Secure water heater, refrigerator, and top-heavy
interns to wall studs.
Secure overhead lighting fixtures.
Store heavy items and breakables on lower shelves. Fasten shelves securely to wall studs.
Remove or isolate flammable materials and toxic chemicals.
Check school emergency policy
- Will the school hold or release your children or release your child only
to you or to someone you have authorized?
DURING THE SHAKING
- Remain calm - do not panic.
- Remain where you are.
Indoors, take cover under a heavy desk, or table, away from glass and windows, or huddle
against an inside wall. Cover face and head.
In a high-rise building, get under a desk or similar heavy furniture, away from windows
and objects that could fall. Be prepared for the building to sway and shift.
In public buildings, get under a table or heavy furniture, or huddle against an inside
wall. Cover face and head.
Outdoors, stay away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
In a car, stop at the side of the road. Avoid bridges, overpasses, and overhead wires.
Turn on the radio. Stay in the car until the earthquake is over.
Post a message on the front door indicating where
you can be found. Take with you:
- Medicines and first aid kit
Flashlight, radio and batteries
Important papers and cash
Food, sleeping bags, extra clothes, eyeglasses
Leave pets confined, if
with food and water, if you are going to a site which does not accept animals.
AFTER THE SHAKING
Be prepared for aftershocks.
- Wear shoes if near debris.
Check for injuries and give first aid.
Check for fires and fire hazards.
Comfort children and pets.
Check for damaged utilities.
Gas: Do not turn off the gas
unless you smell or see a leak. Inspect for leaks by smell only. Do not use candles or
matches. Do not turn on electrical switches or appliances. If you smell gas, shut off the
main valve and open all windows and doors.
Electricity/Water: If lines are
damaged (frayed wires, sparks, smell of hot insulation, water leaks), turn off system at
main fuse box or valve.
turn on gas or electricity again until the utility company has first checked
- Turn on a portable or car radio for emergency
bulletins and instructions.
- Restrict telephone use to medical,
fire or public safety emergencies.
Clean up spilled medicines, flammable liquids, bleaches, and chemicals.
Check house, roof, and chimney.
Open closets and cupboards cautiously.
Stay out of damaged buildings until you know they are safe.
Do not touch "downed" electrical lines or broken appliances.
- Do not use your vehicle, except for
an emergency. Keep streets clear for emergency
After a severe earthquake,
essential services such as police, fire, and paramedics may not be able to respond to the
needs of your neighborhood for 24 hours or more. Normal supplies of food and water may be
Telephones may not work. Transportation and utility systems may be damaged.
Community preparedness begins
with an awareness of your community's earthquake hazards and available resources. Meet and find out who has the skills that will be useful before and after an
earthquake. Identify who
may need particular help after an earthquake, including the disabled, those with special
medical needs, older persons, mothers with nursing infants, unattended children, and
non-English speaking neighbors.
The Survival Guide printed near
the front of your telephone book white pages gives excellent instructions for coping with
various emergencies, including earthquakes.
For more information, call Los Angeles County
Office of Emergency Management at (213) 974-1120
The above is from the County of Los
Angeles pamplet "You and Your Family Can Survive an Earthquake By Knowing What to Do
Before, During, After a Major Earthquake."