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Earthquake Icon
What if…

What is an Earthquake: An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface.  Major earthquakes can cause billions of dollars in damage and most often are followed by “Aftershocks” that cause additional ongoing damage.

Location: Over 45 states are affected by Earthquakes, buy they occur most frequently west of the Rocky Mountains, with California up through Alaska experiencing the most frequent damage and seismic events.

Duration:  Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without any kind of warning.  They occur during any time of the year and at any time of the day or night.  For this reason, Earthquakes, next to severe storms and floods, are the #3 natural disaster emergency in the United States.

Caveat: Ground shaking from the earthquake will cause buildings & bridges to collapse.  Earthquakes will disrupt gas, electric, phones and cellular functions.  Earthquakes have been known to trigger landslides, avalanches, tsunamis, flash floods and destructive fires.  Injuries most prevalent from Earthquakes are caused by collapsing walls, flying glass and projectile objects.

5 Steps to Survive
  1. Mobile homes and homes not attached to their foundations are at risk during any earthquake activity. In addition, buildings with foundations resting on landfill and other unstable soils are at increased risk of damage due to their ability to adjust and flex during these type of emergencies.
  2. Drop cover and hold on to stable furniture. Doorways may not always be the safest place to position yourself.
  3. Protect your head and vital organ areas by placing pillow or blanket over and around your person. Keep your pets under your direct control at all times to avoid injury or loss.
  4. Stay away from windows, overhangs, slopes or cliffs to avoid being injured by dislodged and / or flying debris, including glass, rock, trees, telephone poles and household items.
  5. If power lines fall on your home or vehicle while you are inside, avoid any attempts to get out. Wait for assistance.
  • Water- at least 1 gallon per person per day (3 days worth), Water filters and forward osmosis bags are a great alternative to combat contaminated water sources.
  • Food- At least 3 day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare, mobile stove for cooking food. *Always have waterproof matches in your food mess kit. Keep your food & supplies in a sturdy medium sized metal container to avoid large objects falling on it and destroying your emergency supplies. Store all Emergency Supplies in this container!
  • Large Trauma/ Triage First Aid Kit include, (7 days worth of medications and cash)
  • Multi-purpose tool, Gas/Water shut off key
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Personal Hygiene and sanitation items
  • Battery powered, hand-cranked radio with NOAA channel; two way radios to call for help if trapped.
  • Extra Blankets, emergency blankets and bags
  • Heavy shovel; to remove debris
  • Family and emergency contact information (laminate)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier , bowl)
  • Sturdy saw; to assist in cutting fallen debris and creating emergency travel paths
  • Heavy Leather Steel toed boots to move about safely after the earthquake. Things have shifted and there will be sharp debris scattered inside and outside your location.
  • Brightly colored tarps used for signaling help (especially if you are in a high-rise location)
After an Earthquake Strikes
  • Always expect aftershocks, landslides and even a tsunami after a large seismic earthquake occurs. Stay put for at least an hour after an earthquake and monitor any aftershocks that may plague your location. Aftershocks may occur hours, days, weeks after an earthquake.
  • Check yourself and your family for injuries. Apply First Aid immediately to yourself and then family and neighbors. Dress yourself in long pants, shirts and steel toed boots to ensure safety when moving about the destruction area.
  • Listen to a portable, battery operated / hand crank radio for updated emergency information around your area.
  • Extinguish all small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake. Clean up any flammable liquids, gasoline or toxic household products immediately to prevent any further emergency situations.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and watch for fallen power and broken gas lines.
  • Use extreme caution when examining walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows when surveying for damage.