How to “Plan to be Safe” Before the Next Disaster
The ability to survive and recover from a major earthquake will depend on the amount of planning each
Californian does in advance—would you know how to contact a loved one after the next quake strikes?
Plan to be safe by communicating with your family and neighbors now about what to do during and immediately following an earthquake. “The Great California ShakeOut,” scheduled for October 17 at 10:17 a.m. provides an opportunity to review essential plans and preparations, which should be a part of everyone’s life in earthquake country.
The Great California ShakeOut is one week away and nearly 9.3 million Californians have already registered at www.ShakeOut.org/california to practice the annual “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill.
Plan NOW to be safe during an earthquake:
- Practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.”
- Identify safe spots in every room such as under sturdy desks and tables.
- Learn how to protect yourself no matter where you are when an earthquake strikes.
Plan NOW to respond after an earthquake:
- Keep shoes and a working flashlight next to each bed.
- Get a fire extinguisher for your home.
- Teach everyone in your household to use emergency whistles and/or to knock three timesrepeatedly if trapped.
- Identify the needs of household members and neighbors with special requirements orsituations.
- Take a Red Cross first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training course.
- Know the location of utility shutoffs and keep needed tools nearby.
- Install smoke alarms and test them monthly. .
- Work with your neighbors to identify who has skills and resources that will be useful in anemergency, and who may need special attention (children, elderly, disabled, etc.).
- Check with your city or county to see if there is a Community Emergency Response Team(CERT) in your area. If not, ask how to start one.
Plan NOW to communicate and recover after an earthquake:
- Select a safe place outside of your home to meet your family or housemates after the shaking stops.
- Designate an out-of-area contact person who can be called by everyone in the household to relay information.
- Provide all family members with a list of important contact phone numbers.
- Determine where you might live if your home cannot be occupied after an earthquake.
- Know about the earthquake plan developed by your children’s school or day care. Keep yourchildren’s school emergency release card current.
- Keep copies of essential documents, such as identification, insurance policies, and financial records, in a secure, waterproof container, and keep with your disaster supplies kits.
Have occasional earthquake “drills” to practice your plan. Share your plan with people who take care of your children, pets, or home.
The Earthquake Country Alliance, a partnership of California science, emergency management, preparedness and many other types of organizations, has created “The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety” (http://earthquakecountry.org/sevensteps/) to help people prepare to survive and recover after the next damaging earthquake.
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are coordinated worldwide by the Southern California Earthquake Center with a broad network of local ShakeOut coordinators, with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Geological Survey. The Great California ShakeOut is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance, which includes California Office of Emergency Services, U.S. Geological Survey, California Earthquake Authority, American Red Cross, San Bernardino County Fire Department/Office of Emergency Services and many other organizations.
For more information on the ShakeOut in San Bernardino County, visit: http://www.sbcfire.org/oes/shakeout.aspx.