How To Make An Earthquake Preparedness Plan
Will everyone in your household do the right thing during
the violent shaking of a major earthquake. Before it is too late, get together with
your family or housemates to plan now what each person
will do before, during and after.
Once the earthquake or disaster is over, we will have to live
with the risk of fire, the potential lack of utilities and basic services, and the certainty of aftershocks. By planning now,
you will be ready. This plan will also be useful for other
The safety and well-being of your loved ones are important, so take time NOW to
develop a family earthquake preparedness plan. If you’ve already
developed a plan, take time now to review and update it. Below is a sample plan that you can use for your family.
PLAN TO BE SAFE DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
□ Practice "drop, cover, and hold on” to be safe during
□ Identify safe spots in every room, such as under
sturdy desks and tables.
□ Learn how to protect yourself no matter where you
are when a disaster strikes.
PLAN TO RESPOND AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
□ Keep shoes and a working flashlight next to each
□ Teach everyone in your household to use emergency
whistles and/or to knock 3 times repeatedly if
trapped. Rescuers searching collapsed buildings will
be listening for sounds.
□ Identify the needs of household members and
neighbors with special requirements or situations,
such as use of a wheelchair, walking aids, special
diets, or medication.
□ Take a Red Cross first aid and cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) training course. Learn who in
your neighborhood is trained in first aid and CPR.
□ Know the location of utility shutoffs and keep needed
tools nearby. Know how to turn off the gas, water,
and electricity to your home. Only turn off the gas if
you smell or hear leaking gas.
□ Get training from your local fire department in how to
properly use a fire extinguisher.
□ Install smoke alarms and test them monthly. Change
the battery once a year, or when the alarm emits a
"chirping" sound (low-battery signal).
□ Check with your city or county to see if there is a
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
program in your area. If not, ask how to start one.
PLAN TO COMMUNICATE AND RECOVER AFTER A
□ Locate a safe place outside of your home to meet
your family or housemates after the disaster.
□ Designate an out-of-state contact person who can
be called by everyone in the household to relay
□ Provide all family members with a paper list of
important contact phone numbers.
□ Determine where you might live if your home cannot
be occupied after an earthquake or other disaster
(ask friends or relatives).
□ Know about the emergency plan developed by your
children’s school or day care. Keep your children's
school emergency release card current.
□ Keep copies of essential documents, such as
identification, insurance policies and financial
records, in a secure, waterproof container, along
with your disaster supplies kits. Include a household
inventory (a list and photos or video of your
□ Have occasional "earthquake drills” to practice your plan. Ask
your babysitters, house sitters, neighbors, coworkers, and
others about their disaster plans, and share your plan and