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 emergencies.
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 an earthquake.
□ 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 bed.
□ 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 DISASTER
□ 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 information.
□ 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 belongings).
□ 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 with them.