Before

Prepare your home and family before disaster strikes. Continue reading to learn how.

In the Home
  • Check for hazards in the home.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks.
  • Secure a water heater by strapping it to wall studs and bolt it to the floor.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
  • Identify safe places in each room:
    • Under sturdy furniture such as a heavy desk or table
    • Against an inside wall
    • Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over
  • Locate safe places outdoors. In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways.
For the Family
  • Make sure all family members know how to respond after an earthquake.
  • Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
  • Teach children how and when to call 911, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
  • Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on earthquakes.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand. View a disaster preparedness kit list.
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries
    • First aid kit and manual
    • Emergency food and water
    • Non-electric can opener
    • Essential medicines
    • Cash and credit cards
    • Sturdy shoes
  • Develop an emergency communication plan.