You can’t predict when an earthquake will shake things up, but if you live in California’s Central Coast, you need to prepare your home for the possibility of shaky times. As you’re well aware, once an earthquake hits, it’s too late to make any preparations. Learn what you can do to prepare, what you should do during, and how you can put life back together again after an earthquake.
Prepare for an Earthquake
It doesn’t take a lot of money, and it only takes a little effort, to prepare for an earthquake.
- Walk through your home and look for heavy items that can fall if shaken. Move them closer to the ground.
- Secure any furniture that can move or topple over in an earthquake.
- Gather disaster supplies and show every family member where they are stored. (Water, first aid kit, emergency cash, sturdy shoes, flashlight, food, etc. See a more complete list — and how to store it — here.)
- Create, and practice, a plan for your family to follow in an earthquake. Teach them the steps found in the next section of this article.
- Gather your important documents, and store them in a grab-and-go bag in a fire-proof safe.
- Consider insurance.
What to Do During an Earthquake
Remember these three words (and teach them to your children now):
Drop. Cover. Hold on.
In most earthquake situations, this process is critical for your survival.
- Drop where you are onto your hands and knees. This will help you avoid being knocked down, and gives you the chance to crawl to shelter.
- Cover your head and neck with one arm or hand. If you can get under a table or desk, crawl there while keeping your head and neck covered. If there is no shelter, crawl to an interior wall (away from windows).
- Hold on to your shelter. If you’re under a table, hold onto one of the legs with one hand while continuing to protect your head and neck with your other arm. Move with your shelter if it moves. If you are not under any shelter, hold onto your head and neck with both arms.
What if you’re at a store? Drop, cover, and hold on, and get next to a shopping cart or beneath clothing racks.
If you’re outside, get to a clear area if you can (away from power lines, trees, buildings, etc.). Drop, cover, and hold on.
In bed? Stay in bed. Lie face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow. Keep your arms and hands close to your head.
If you’re driving, pull over safely and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and signs. Stay in your vehicle. If a power line falls on your car, stay in your vehicle until a trained person removes it.
If you’re at the beach, walk quickly to high ground — after the shaking has stopped.
After the earthquake, evacuate your area if necessary and safe to do so. Check yourself and others for injuries. Look for leaking gas lines, downed power lines, damage to the building, and more. Remember, there may be aftershocks that will make any of this damage more dangerous for you.
How to Recover After an Earthquake
Connect with others. You may need both physical and emotional support in the wake of an earthquake, and you may be able to offer support to those who are struggling. Make any necessary repairs to your home, and strengthen your home further for a future earthquake. Reach out in your community to help everyone get back on their feet.
New Life Restoration can help you get back on your feet after any home disaster. Visit us online for more information.