FAQs about Earthquakes

Q: During an earthquake (EQ) should you head for the doorway?

A: Only if you live in an old, unreinforced adobe house. In modern homes doorways are no stronger than any other parts of the house and usually have doors that will swing and can injure you. YOU ARE SAFER PRACTICING THE DUCK, COVER, AND HOLD under a sturdy piece of furniture.

Q: What emergency supplies do I need?

A:

  1. Fire extinguisher
  2. Adequate supplies of medications that you or family members are taking
  3. Crescent and pipe wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies
  4. First-aid kit and handbook
  5. Flashlights with extra bulbs and batteries
  6. Portable radio with extra batteries
  7. Water for each family member for at least two weeks (allow at least 1 gallon per person per day) and purification tablets or chlorine bleach to purify drinking water from other sources
  8. Canned and package foods, enough for several days and MECHANICAL can opener. Extra food for pets if necessary
  9. Camp stove or barbecue to cook on outdoors (store fuel out of the reach of children)
  10. Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal.

Q: How can I plan ahead for an EQ?

A:

  1. Make sure each member of your family knows what to do no matter where they are when EQs occur:
  2. Establish a mtg place where you can all reunite afterward
  3. Find out about EQ plans developed by children's school or day care
  4. Remember transportation may be disrupted, keep some emergency supplies--food, liquids, and comfortable shoes, for example--at work
  5. KNOW where you gas, electric and water main shutoffs are and how to turn them off if there is a leak or electrical short. Make sure older members of the family can shut off utilities
  6. LOCATE your nearest fire and police stations and emergency medical facility
  7. TALK to your neighbors--how could they help you, or you them after an EQ
  8. TAKE Red Cross First Aid and CPR Training Course.

Q: What should I do during an EQ?

A:

  1. If you are INDOORS--STAY THERE! (Get under a desk or table and hang on to it, or move into a hallway or get against an inside wall. STAY CLEAR of windows, fireplaces, and heavy furniture or appliances. GET OUT of the kitchen, which is a dangerous place (things can fall on you). DON'T run downstairs or rush outside while the bldg is shaking or while there is danger of falling and hurting yourself or being hit by falling glass or debris.
  2. If you are OUTSIDE-- get into the OPEN, away from bldgs, power lines, chimneys, and anything else that might fall on you.
  3. If you are DRIVING--stop, but carefully. Move your car as far out of traffic as possible. DO NOT stop on or under a bridge or overpass or under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs. STAY INSIDE your car until the shaking stops. When you RESUME driving watch for breaks in the pavement, fallen rocks, and bumps in the road at bridge approaches.
  4. If you are in a MOUNTAINOUS AREA--watch out for falling rock, landslides, trees, and other debris that could be loosened by quakes.
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