Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) declared the month of April as Earthquake Preparedness Month, and the following tips are provided to prepare families in the event of a disaster.
Although earthquakes happen every day in California, one long-range scientific model forecasts a 6.7 magnitude will happen sometime in California in the next 12 years. Warnings of any specific earthquake don't come until a few seconds ahead, meaning the only time to prepare is before an earthquake.
“Taking steps to prepare now could reduce injuries and damage to your home and help your household recover in the event of a significant earthquake,” said Jeff Toney, director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services in a press release. “Many of these suggestions are cost-free and take just minutes to do. It’s important not to put emergency preparedness off.”
The following tips are provided by the California Earthquake Authority to help people in the event of an earthquake:
Before an earthquake, know response guidelines, including the following from the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety:
- Create an earthquake safety plan for you and loved ones, including pets.
- Identify safe places in each room of your home.
- Know your risk for earthquakes in your area and what you must do to stay safe.
- Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On with each member of your household.
- Make or purchase earthquake safety kits.
- Find out if your home is in need of earthquake retrofitting and eligible for a grant.
- Identify and fix potential earthquake hazards in your home.
- The California Earthquake Authority recommends homeowners invest and bounce back from a devastating earthquake with earthquake insurance.
During the earthquake:
- If indoors: drop, cover, hold on. Do not run outside!
- If outdoors: Move away from buildings, streetlights,
and utility wires.
- In a high-rise building: stay away from windows or walls, and elevators.
- If driving: stop, stay in vehicle and avoid stopping near buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
After the earthquake:
- Check for injuries, and provide assistance if you have training.
- Have utilities inspected by qualified professionals.
- Stay away from damaged areas.
In the event of an evacuation:
- List 3 places where family members should go if they cannot stay or return home.
- Be in communication. Use phone for emergencies and out-of-area contact to inform statuses.
- Take necessary supplies with you.
- Post a message inside your home indicating where you can be found.
- Visit myhazards.caloes.ca.gov to learn about local risks and how to prepare your home (including securing furniture, appliances, home fuel systems, and more).
The OES urged residents to download the MyShake app to help prepare, and find earthquake preparedness tips at earthquake.ca.gov. Visit myhazards.caloes.ca.gov to learn about local risks and how to prepare your home (including securing furniture, appliances, home fuel systems, and more).