Several common practices can allow your family to be prepared in the event of an earthquake.
Prepare a Home Earquake Plan
- Choose a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
- Practice DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. Teach children to DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
- Chose an out-of-town family contact.
Reduce potential danger by:
- Bolting bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs.
- Installing strong latches on cupboards.
- Strapping the water heater to wall studs.
- Take a first aid class from your American Red Cross, Greater Cincinnati Chapter. Keep your training current.
- Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.
- Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
Prepare a supply kit,including:
- First aid kit and essential medications.
- Canned food and can opener.
- At least three gallons of water per person (one gallon of water per person for at least 3 days; often more is needed).
- Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding, or sleeping bags.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
- Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members
- Written instructions for how to turn off gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on.)
- Keep essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.
During an Earthquake
Know What to Do When the Shaking Begins:
- DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
- If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
- If your are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
- If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.
Following an Earthquake
After the shaking stops:
- Check yourself for injuries.
- Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
- Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.
- Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off the gas if you smell gas or think it's leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
- Listen to the radio for instructions.
- Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one. DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON!
- Inspect home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
- Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
United States Geological Survey - Earquake Information