Earthquake Preparedness

Drop-Cover-HoldWith the recent earthquakes in Southern California, there is no time better than now to get prepared for the next one! Courtesy of, the following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of an earthquake:

1. Build an emergency kit, which should include food, water, and supplies in sufficient quantity for at least 72 hours, and make a family communications plan.

2. Fasten shelves securely to walls.

3. Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.

4. Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.

5. Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.

6. Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.

7. Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.

8. Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.

9. secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting them to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.

10. Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.

11. Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.

12. Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.

13. Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.

14. Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

For more information about earthquake preparedness, and other disasters, please visit

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