Get a new perspective on earthquakes with this rich collection of multimedia resources. You'll learn why earthquakes happen, how they've shaped the Bay Area, and what you can do to prepare for the next one.
Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and planning in advance can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake. Repairing and reinforcing building foundations, anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, securing furniture and other objects to walls and floors, and following local seismic building standards will help reduce the impact of earthquakes.
Many injuries suffered during earthquakes result from items falling or shifting due to the shaking of the earth. Identifying potential hazards prior to an earthquake can protect you and your family. Do an inventory of your house and where you work. Anything that can move or fall during a quake should be placed in a closed cabinet or a secondary container. Anything that can’t be put elsewhere should be securely fastened down or, for objects such as bookcases, attached to the wall. Avoid hanging pictures or mirrors near beds or places where people sit.
After an earthquake, you might not have access to water, food, electricity, or other necessities for up to a week. Creating a disaster supply kit will help you get through the aftermath of an earthquake. Store enough water, food, and other basic items to meet your needs for at least 72 hours. Keep the kit in a place where you spend most of your time so that it will be easily accessible if an earthquake strikes.
It is also a good idea to develop an emergency communication plan. Do not rely on cell phones or other devices that require electricity. Develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster in case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family contact. After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance than locally. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.