Last night’s 6.9M earthquake 50 miles off the coast of Eureka and the subsequent 19+ aftershocks are reminders to all Bay Area residents of the risks of living in earthquake country.
American Red Cross encourages all residents to take the simple steps to be prepared for the next earthquake.
“Earthquakes are sudden and can strike without warning, and we want everyone to become prepared to survive when the next major earthquake strikes our area,” said Mark Cloutier, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross. “It is not a matter of if but a matter of when the next major earthquake will happen. With U.S. Geological Survey saying there is 99% likelihood of a major earthquake in Bay Area in the next 30 years, last night’s earthquake is a reminder for each of us to anticipate, and plan for, what is needed to survive a major earthquake. The good news is that you can do some easy things to prepare yourself. Even if you already have a household disaster plan and kit, today is a good day to revisit and update your communication plan, and check your emergency preparedness kit for expired items and acquire new items.”
Red Cross is here to help every household and workplace get prepared for specific disasters like earthquakes. In addition to the simple tips listed below, you can find more about earthquake preparedness at: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake
Download the FREE Red Cross Earthquake App.
The official free American Red Cross Earthquake App for iPhone and Android mobile devices is also available for download Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or at redcross.org/mobileapps. The app gives users instant access to local and real-time information in order to help them make crucial decisions.
Obtain, Assemble or Update your Emergency Preparedness Kit
A portable kit, stored in a sturdy, easy to carry, water resistant container should have enough supplies for three days. Check your kit and replace perishable stock every six months. Whether you purchase a kit or choose to build your own, your three-day kit should include:
- First aid kit and essential medications.
- Canned food and can opener.
- At least three gallons of water per person.
- Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
- Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
- Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
- Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.
Prepare a Home Earthquake Plan
The American Red Cross urges each and every household to develop a household disaster 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!
- Choose an out-of-town family contact.
- Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.
- Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter so you will know how to respond to emergencies in the event that help is delayed.
- Contact your local chapter for details about community disaster education presentations that may be arranged or are available in your workplace, school or community organization.
- Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
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 & stay there, protect your head with a pillow.
- If you 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 an drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.
Know What To Do 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 ONLY if you smell gas or think it’s leaking. (Remember, only a professional should turn it back on.)
- Listen to the local radio for instructions.
- Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON!
- Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out of your home if it is unsafe.
- Use the telephone only to report life threatening emergencies.
Again, for more about earthquake preparedness, visit THIS LINK.