Safety Tips for the Next Earthquake

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The recent earthquake in Napa County literally jolted everyone in the Bay Area into the realization that most of us are not as prepared as we should be – considering that earthquakes can strike suddenly and with no warning at any time, day or night.

When the next quake shakes the Bay Area, do you know what to do? Does your spouse? Your partner? Your children? The best way to prepare for an earthquake is to have a plan in place and practice it regularly so when disaster happens, everyone knows what to do. Here are our 7 essential earthquake safety tips:

1
Keep emergency supplies ready in a place that’s easy to access no matter the emergency. The supplies should be stored in bags easy enough to grab in a hurry. They should include at least these items:

    • Flashlight
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Medications and copies of medical cards
    • First aid kit
    • Dust masks
    • Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses and cleaning solution
    • Bottled water for everyone in your household to last at least 24 hours
    • Whistle (to alert rescuers to your location)
    • Emergency cash
    • Snack foods, high in water and calories
    • Working flashlight with extra batteries and light bulbs, or light sticks
    • Copies of personal identification (Driver’s License, Social Security Card, Green Card)
2
Practice “drop, cover, and hold on” and identify safe spots throughout your home, such as under sturdy desks and tables. Doorways are often no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection
3
Map out at least two exits from your home in case one is blocked
4
Teach everyone in your household to use emergency whistles and/or to knock three times repeatedly if trapped. Rescuers searching collapsed buildings will be listening for sounds
5
Establish a meeting place within walking distance from your home where everyone can get to
6
Provide all family members with a list of important contact phone numbers, and designate an out-of-area contact person who can be called by everyone in the household to relay information
7
Always keep a charged phone, a pair of shoes, and a flashlight next to your bed in case the earthquake strikes during the night

For more information on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, check out websites such as www.earthquakecountry.org, www.fema.gov/earthquake, and www.nsc.org.

Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the earthquake on August 24, 2014.

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