Earthquake Preparedness

Prepare Now

  • Secure bookcases, televisions, and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves.
  • Practice Drop, Cover, Hold with family and coworkers.
  • Create a family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-state contact.
  • Plan where to meet if you get separated. Choose 2 locations:
    • One close to home, and
    • A central location that is manageable based on where your family works, goes to school, and plays.
  • Be sure you have a home emergency kit with everything you need for at least 7 days.
  • Consider obtaining an earthquake insurance policy.
  • Consider a retrofit of your house to correct structural issues.

When the Shaking Starts

  • Duck or Drop down on the floor:
    • In a wheelchair? Lock the chair and bend over protecting your head and neck.
    • Unable to get on to the floor? Try to protect yourself by bending over, bracing yourself, and covering with head and neck with your hands.
  • Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture
  • Hold on to it and be prepared to move with it.

Stay indoors until the shaking stops. If you’re outside, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees and power lines and drop to the ground.  If you’re in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place.

After the Shaking Stops

Assume there will be aftershocks: 

  • Get to a safe place outdoors if you think the structure you’re in is in danger of collapsing.
  • Check on neighbors, co-workers, and anyone who might need help.
  • Provide first aid for anyone slightly injured and seek medical attention for anyone seriously injured.

Look around for possible hazards during aftershocks:

  • Secure anything heavy that could fall and eliminate fire hazards.
  • Go to SoCoEmergency for official updates and information.
  • If you smell gas, or think it is leaking, shut it off.
    • Remember: Only a professional should turn it back on.

More Information

Visit the United States Geographical Survey for more information about specific earthquake threats.

Participate in the next Great Shake Out Earthquake Drill