According to FEMA, earthquakes are not limited to the West Coast. In fact, there are 45 states and territories in the U.S. that are at a moderate to high risk for earthquakes. Not only that, but it is impossible to predict when or where earthquakes will occur. That is why it is essential to be prepared – now.
Here are 7 ways to prepare yourself for an earthquake:
1. Secure hazards
Look around your home and identify hazards that could cause injury during an earthquake. Heavy items like TVs, bookcases, and furniture should be secured to keep them from falling on someone.
There is an assortment of fastening tools available specifically for earthquake safety. These earthquake supplies include no-fall picture hooks, furniture fastening straps and more. Once everything is secured, you are less likely to be injured in an earthquake.
2. Have a plan
Always have a disaster plan in place and make sure everyone in your family is aware of your plan. This plan should include evacuation and reunion plans, local and out of state emergency contacts (names and phone numbers), as well as the location of your earthquake emergency supplies kit.
3. Have a disaster kit
Your emergency supply kit should include three days of food and water per person, a first aid kit, emergency weather radio, flashlight with extra batteries, and any other essential supplies such as prescription, personal papers, cash, an emergency whistle, etc.
4. Make sure your home is safe
Check the overall structure of your home to be sure it is the safest place to be during an earthquake. Don’t just assume a house that meets local building codes is safe enough, especially if the house is older. Download the Is Your Place Safe? PDF for tips for making sure your house is safe and sound.
5. Learn what to do
When there is an earthquake, the best thing to do, wherever you are, is Drop, Cover and Hold On! Drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on tight.
6. Assess the damage
After the earthquake, check to see if there are any injuries that need immediate attention. Also look for hazards such as damaged gas, water and electrical lines. These things will need prompt attention to prevent further injuries.
Contact local agencies to let them know the damage you have sustained. Turn on your emergency radio to stay up to date and contact emergency personnel and insurance agents to update them on any damages or injuries. Don’t forget to notify friends and family to let them know you are okay.
Do you have an earthquake plan?