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National Preparedness Month 2013: Preparing For Earthquakes


Be prepared before an earthquake strikes…

  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.

During an earthquake…

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table.
  • HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
  • If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms andcrouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • DO NOT get in a doorway unless you know it is a strongly constructed, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many insidedoorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
  • DO NOT run outside Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

After the earthquake: Be cautious!

  • Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical and sewer lines, and major cracks and damage in your home. If you suspect a gas leak, contact your local Fire Department immediately.
  • Keep streets clear for emergency vehicles. Do not drive your vehicle.

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