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When Safe, Continue To Follow Your Earthquake Plan
Once you have met your and your family's immediate needs after an earthquake, continue to follow the plan you prepared in advance. Aftershocks will continue to happen for several weeks after major earthquakes. Some may be large enough to cause additional damage. Always be ready to drop, cover, and hold on.
Your recovery period can take several weeks to months or longer. Take the actions listed below to be safe and to minimize the long-term effects of the earthquake on your life.
IN THE FIRST FEW DAYS AFTER THE QUAKE
Use the information you put together in your disaster plan and the supplies you organized in your disaster kits. Until you are sure there are no gas leaks, do not use open flames (lighters, matches, candles, or grills) or operate any electrical or mechanical device that can create a spark (light switches, generators, motor vehicles, etc.). Never use the following indoors: camp stoves, gas lanterns or heaters, gas or charcoal grills, or gas generators. These can release deadly carbon monoxide or be a fire hazard in aftershocks.
Be in communication...
Food and water...
IN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS AFTER THE QUAKE
This is a time of transition. Although aftershocks may continue, you will now work toward getting your life, your home and family, and your routines back in order. Emotional care and recovery are just as important as healing physical injuries and rebuilding a home. Make sure your home is safe to occupy and not in danger of collapse in aftershocks. If you were able to remain in your home or return to it after a few days, you will have a variety of tasks to accomplish:
IF YOU CANNOT STAY AT HOME
If your home is structurally unsafe or threatened by a fire or other hazard, you need to evacuate. However, shelters may be overcrowded and initially lack basic services, so do not leave home just because utilities are out of service or your home and its contents have suffered moderate damage.
If you evacuate, tell a neighbor and your out-of-area contact where you are going. As soon as possible, set up an alternative mailing address with the post office. Take the following, if possible, when you evacuate: