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Are You Ready for the Next Big One?

Learn more about recovering from an earthquake

April marks Earthquake Awareness Month and the three-year anniversary of the Easter Earthquake. The American Red Cross has tips to help prepare residents throughout our region before the ground starts shaking.

DOWNLOAD THE APP The Red Cross Earthquake App, available in English and Spanish, gives users access to real-time information so they know what to do before, during and after earthquakes.

Features of the app include:

  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
  • Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey;
  • A “Shake Zone Impact Map” that provides real-time, simplified impact assessment when available;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to inform family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters.
  • The Earthquake App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for Red Cross. Information on all Red Cross apps can be found at

    FOLLOW SAFETY TIPS When the shaking starts, there may not be time to look up what you should do to keep safe. Take care of yourself, loved ones and those around you by learning what to do right now should an earthquake strike.

    If you are inside when the shaking starts:

  • Drop, cover and hold on.
  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and it is safe to exit. Use stairs to exit the building rather than an elevator.
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
  • If you are outside when the shaking starts:

  • Find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlights and drop to the ground until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes
  • GET PREPARED, CALIFORNIA! Through April 26, the annual Get Prepared, California! auction promotes earthquake preparedness and supports the Red Cross with many once-in-a-lifetime items available for bidding at

    PARTICIPATE IN THE SHAKEOUT On Oct. 17, 2013 at 10:17 a.m., millions of people will take part in the Great California ShakeOut, a widespread, coordinated drill to help people and organizations learn what supplies to have on hand and what to do if an earthquake strikes. With the unpredictable nature of earthquakes, the Red Cross encourages participation in this drill and overall preparedness as earthquakes can occur day or at night, in any season of the year.

    TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE! Now that you have reviewed the safety tips, test your knowledge by taking our Earthquake Safety Quiz.