Red Cross Reminds Bay Area Residents to be Prepared for the Next Earthquake

March 10, 2014 18:35 pm · 19 comments


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:

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 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

  • 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.

Food and Water March 10, 2014 at 6:51 PM

will be the two most major concerns for people. Many will not have prepared.

In a worst case scenario, food and water could be unavailable for two weeks to 30 days or more.

Take the time and spend the money to have at least enough food and water to support yourself and your family for a few weeks.

Better to be prepared than disappointed, people may not be willing to share if there is a serious disaster.

funny man March 10, 2014 at 7:23 PM

dont forget to stock up on shotgun shells.. they will help you keep the water you have when your unprepared neighbors turn on you

The Southern Cross March 10, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Food, water, and shelter. Plus ammunition to fend off those that are unprepared.

ConcordMike March 10, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Crossbow is quieter. If your neighbors hear a gunshot, they’ll know where the food and water is.

Gimli March 10, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Yeah, don’t help anyone else but yourself. Don’t forget the twinkies.

Kirk March 10, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Also be ready for the tsunami afterwords, the tsunami of looters coming from Oakland.

And don’t forget to have food and water for your pets.

Steve March 10, 2014 at 9:24 PM

It’s good to read articles like this as a reminder. I’m not getting any younger.

anon March 10, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Come on people, put away the guns. You start shooting and the cops will put you in jail. This is California, you shoot someone over a bottle of water and you will get sued and lose.

lol wtf ftw lol wtf ftw March 10, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Concord Mike, been watching “Walking Dead” again?

That last item is going to kill a lot of people. Everybody that’s ok will immediately start calling everyone else that is ok non-stop. The guy trapped under his house alone slowly bleeding will die trying to get a call out.

Charles-the-cat March 10, 2014 at 11:15 PM

If you have a family member with special dietary needs, then make sure food supplies for that person can last up to 60 days. If your kid has a peanut or wheat allergy, it won’t do any good if the first relief supplies to show up are peanut butter sandwiches.

Dorothy March 10, 2014 at 11:38 PM

Keep an old fashion bbq grill and stock up on charcoal bricks. Might need them to cook and heat.

biggus thinkus March 11, 2014 at 1:13 AM

er…i have a suggestion that hasn’t been addressed.
previously noted above was “If you are in bed, hold on & stay there, protect your head with a pillow.”
I have been reading, viewing moreso that a defensive triangle is most likely to save your life (ie. being in the 90degree portion of a triangle). this allows a safer breathing and access space. i’ve told my family that if it’s really shaking, roll off the bed onto the floor.

Suburban Dad March 11, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Dorothy, what’s wrong with propane?

Cowellian March 11, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Sorry Dorothy, but earthquakes automatically trigger a Spare the Air day.

yikes March 11, 2014 at 9:10 AM

If a major earthquake/disaster hits be prepared to NOT have cell service and make a verbal/written plan about where loved ones will meet in case of an emergency. I’ve lived through gnarly storms in the Midwest and cell towers are not indestructible and will go down after an earthquake so keep that in mind

There won't be any help March 11, 2014 at 9:36 AM

from police or fire for a while after a big disaster. I would hope that they would protect their families, but most will be doing their job.

All emergency services have procedures in the event of a major disaster. Responding to a complaint over a bottle of water will not be one of them.

Prepare to take care of yourself.

Connie Dobbs March 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM

#16 ‘Tis true, and Federal help will be long in arriving to this side of the Caldecott. Hopefully some of your neighbors are construction workers.

Ted K., SuperMax March 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

@4 Concord Mike: I’d like to see you in action. A crossbow is ineffective in CQB…takes too long to reload. Think “One shot, one kill”.

SK March 11, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Don’t forget to have a plan for all your pets! Include a backpack filled with emergency supplies for them, including first aid items as well as meds, food and water. Have travel carriers available in case they need to be restrained for some unforeseen reason.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: