Problem: Home is in earthquake
area, or is threatened by earthquake.
Background: Accurate predictions of earthquakes cannot be
made. In the United States, earthquakes occur most often
in the western states, but can occur at widely scattered
locations across the country. Most casual ties result from
falling objects and debris, and are caused by partial
building collapse, flying glass, over turned fixtures and
other furniture and appliances, fires from broken chimneys
or broken gas lines, fallen power lines, and drastic
actions taken in moments of panic. Consider the
suggestions below for measures you can take before and
during an earth quake. If your home has suffered
earthquake damage. see (Home
What to do: Besides supporting community efforts to
prepare for an earthquake, check your home for earthquake
hazards. Bolt down or provide other strong support for
water heaters and other gas appliances, because fires can
result from broken gas lines and appliance connections.
(Use flexible connections wherever possible.) Put large,
heavy objects on lower shelves and securely fasten shelves
to walls. Brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects. When
building or remodeling, always follow codes to minimize
earth quake hazards.
Keep a flashlight and battery- powered radio in the home,
ready for use at all times. Keep family immunizations up
to date. Show your family how to turn off electricity,
gas, and water at main switches and valves. Hold
occasional home earth quake drills so your family knows
how to avoid injury and how to remain level-headed during
an earth quake. Also have responsible family members
receive first aid instruction because medical facilities
may be overloaded immediately following a severe
earthquake (check with your local Red Cross for training
Special advice: During an earth quake, try to
remain calm, reassure others and think through the
consequences of any action. If indoors, watch for falling
plaster, bricks, light fixtures, and other objects such as
high bookcases, cabinets, and shelves or other furniture
that might slide or topple. Stay away from windows,
mirrors, and chimneys. If in danger, crawl under a table,
desk, or bed; move to a corner away from windows; or stand
in a strong doorway.
Usually it is best not to run outside.
However, when outside, avoid high buildings, walls, power
poles, and other objects that could fall. Don’t run
through the streets. If possible, move to an open area
away from hazards. If you are in a car, stop in the safest
place available, preferably an open area.
Helpful hint: If an
earthquake strikes while you are in a high-rise building,
get under a desk. Don’t dash for exits because stairways
may be broken and jammed with people, and power for
elevators may fail. In crowded stores, don’t rush for a
doorway since hundreds of others may have the same idea.
If you must leave, choose your exit carefully.