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Are You Prepared for An Earthquake?

Are You Prepared for An Earthquake
Create an earthquake safety and fire evacuation plan for your home, work, and if you are separated from your loved ones. Practice this plan with your family.

Earthquakes strike suddenly and without warning, which is why the American Red Cross encourages everyone to be prepared. Below you will find tips on what to do during an earthquake and how to be prepared for when the next quake strikes.


  • DROP down onto your hands and knees.
  • COVER your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won't fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.

  • Create an earthquake safety and fire evacuation plan for your home, work, and if you are separated from your loved ones. Practice this plan with your family.
  • Keep and maintain an emergency supplies kit in an easy-to-access location.
  • Identify safe places throughout your home, workplace and/or school to drop cover and hold on. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
  • Practice “drop, cover and hold on” in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night.
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
  • Down load the FREE American Red Cross Earthquake Mobile App. for safety tips and information to help you before, during and after an earthquake.

  • Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tsunami.
  • Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Look quickly for damage in and around your home and get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and stay out of damaged areas.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated or hand-crank radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Help people who require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled and keep animals under your direct control.
  • If you were away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • As part of our ongoing mission to help communities be prepared, the American Red Cross hosts an annual Disaster Preparedness Academy. The event offers workshops focused on teaching individuals, businesses, schools, and faith-based and nonprofit organizations how to prepare for all types of disasters. The 30th Annual Disaster Preparedness Academy will take place on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at the Anaheim Convention Center. For more information contact Monica Ruzich at (714) 481-5329.