Many people think of California as Earthquake Country. However, recent scientific evidence indicates that a megathrust subduction earthquake of 8.0+ magnitude occurred in the Pacific Northwest in January, 1700, and will happen again, anytime.
Discuss the safety spots to go to during an earthquake.
- If you are indoors, take cover under a desk, table or bench, against an inside wall or wood-framed doorway, and hold on. Stay away from windows or anything that could fall on you. Duck, Cover and Hold On!
- If you are outdoors, stay there. Quickly move away from buildings, street lights, utility wires and large trees. If you are in an automobile, pull off to the right of the roadway, stop and stay in it until the shaking stops. Avoid stopping on bridges, on or under overpasses, and near any structures which may fall.
- Secure your home to withstand a major earthquake.
- Use plumbers tape to strap your hot water heater in place. Fire can result from broken gas or electrical connections on hot water heaters. Strapping also protects this valuable water supply.
- Secure heavy book cases, appliances, mirrors and large pictures to wall studs. Secure hanging lamps and plants so they don’t come loose from their hooks.
- Install latch devices on cabinet doors to prevent glassware from falling out.
- Move heavy items to low shelves.
Call a family meeting to discuss:
- Supplies - Do you have everything you will need?
- Training - Is any training needed: first aid, fire extinguisher use, utilities shut off? Set a time to complete training.
- Review and update your family plan. Are phone numbers current? Are safety spots the same? Has your plan for reuniting your family changed?
When the ground starts to shake, Duck, Cover, and Hold On!
After an earthquake
- Check for injuries and provide first aid.
- Turn off utilities, assume downed electrical wires are live - stay away.
- Clean up dangerous spills, i.e. bleaches, gasoline and other flammable liquids.
- Wear shoes. Cut feet are a common injury.
- Turn on radio and listen for instructions from public safety agencies.
- Use phones ONLY for emergencies. Unnecessary calls can prevent others from reaching the emergency help they need.