Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Emergency Preparedness: Earthquake Prep Checklist

 You can find loads of disaster prep information on the FEMA site - including the "Earthquake Checklist" - see it below for ideas on what you can do to prepare now for an Earthquake in your area!   

What to Do Before an Earthquake

Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without warning. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and advance planning can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake. Repairing deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations, anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, and following local seismic building standards, will help reduce the impact of earthquakes.

 6 Ways to Plan Ahead:
  1. Check for Hazards in the Home
    • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
    • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
    • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
    • Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.
    • Brace overhead light fixtures.
    • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks.
    • Secure a water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.
    • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
    • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.

  2. Identify Safe Places Indoors and Outdoors
    • Under sturdy furniture such as a heavy desk or table.
    • Against an inside wall.
    • Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.
    • In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways.

  3. Educate Yourself and Family Members
  4. Have Disaster Supplies on Hand (For ideas on an Emergency Kit see the "72-Hour Kit" Post)
    • Flashlight and extra batteries.
    • Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
    • First aid kit and manual.
    • Emergency food and water.
    • Nonelectric can opener.
    • Essential medicines.
    • Cash and credit cards.
    • Sturdy shoes.

  5. Develop an Emergency Communication Plan
    • In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster.
    • Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

  6. Help Your Community Get Ready
    • Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.
    • Conduct a week-long series on locating hazards in the home.
    • Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do during an earthquake.
    • Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.
    • Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies about shutting off utilities.
    • Work together in your community to apply your knowledge to building codes, retrofitting programs, hazard hunts, and neighborhood and family emergency plans.



  1. Hi Sweets!
    Great info. Thank you for being so on top of planning and compiling all this information.
    Silly question-do you think it is a good idea to divide up your stockpile between different locations in case your house were to be the one to be squashed or sucked into a hole?

  2. I would say, if you have the resources to do so, that is a FABULOUS idear!! Take my family for example... we have the land in Jasper that we live on, but my mom still owns the farm I grew up on in Thurston. I know she still has food storage there as well.

    As far as Emergency Supplies are concerned - I suggest, if at all possible, keeping a 72-Hour Kit in your home, and ALSO one in your car. At the very least, you should keep water, high protein foods, and an extra jacket in your vehicle. Countless stories will tell you it's worth the extra cost and time!

    Good thinkin' my love!!