You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Napa Earthquake Reminds SoCal Residents to Get Prepared

2014/08/26 - Orange County - Napa Earthquake Reminds SoCal Residents to Get Prepared
People living in California are encouraged to be prepared for an earthquake to strike at any time.

In the early hours of Sunday, August 24, as Southern California residents were sleeping, residents and visitors of Napa Valley were awakened by a strong quake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale, the strongest to hit the Bay Area in nearly 25 years.

In the aftermath of this quake, fires broke out and downed power lines and water and gas main leaks were reported. According to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, at least 15,000 customers in and around Sonoma, Napa and Santa Rosa lost power. While many residents were displaced by this quake, a majority of people were able to stay in their homes, though they had no electricity or water.

The Red Cross encourages everyone to be prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours after a disaster strikes. Being prepared includes making a plan, building a kit and staying informed. Individuals and families should have a plan and kit (built for at least 3 to 7 days) to keep in their home, vehicle, schools and workplace.

Below are some basic earthquake preparedness tips to assist people in knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake. For more information on how to get prepared go to and to earn about free Red Cross mobile apps visit


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief can do so at, 1-800-RED CROSS or by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

    About the American Red Cross

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at