Earthquake Emergency Preparation

They come out of nowhere! How do you get prepared for an earthquake, when you can’t know when to expect one to happen? I want to talk about earthquake emergency preparation and what you can do to be prepared if it does happen to you.

An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface.

Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides, or avalanches. While they can happen anywhere without warning, areas at higher risk for earthquakes include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington, and the entire Mississippi River Valley.

Imagine one day a major earthquake happens close to your home. Will you be ready and prepared to survive?

Being well-prepared, and having a plan of action, is the best way to prepare to survive an earthquake. Lacking this comfortable knowledge, you are more likely to panic and make deadly mistakes. So, be prepared to help yourself and your loved ones to survive if an earthquake happens in your area.

Prepare For An Earthquake Emergency

Planning for an earthquake or other emergency is not much different from planning for an event or vacation.

When you make your emergency plan, include evacuation and reunion plans for you and your family. Here are some very important things to remember when making your family plan:

  • Have an out-of-state person’s name and contact phone number. I have my mom as my out-of-state contact. My family knows that we will have her as a single contact who can connect all of us together, the “keeper of the information.” Her location can be a gathering place for all of us to make our way toward if needed. And she will have copies of our important information and files.
  • Organize disaster supplies. Let the family know the location of your emergency supplies and other pertinent information. We keep all of our important documents and computer back-ups in a fire-proof safe. We have copies in our safety deposit box at the bank.
  • Share your plan with people who take care of your children, pets, or home. We have shared our plan with two of our close neighbors. They are also preparing their homes and families. If needed, they will come get our two little dogs and take them home to their houses for safety. We will do the same for them.
  • Have occasional earthquake “drills” to practice your plan. We have annual “drop, cover, hold on” drills on the third Thursday in October when Washington state holds them. Shakeout.org is the world’s largest earthquake preparedness website.

Shakeout.org’s Earthquake Recommendations

Shakeout.org has the following recommendations for you and your family to practice and be familiar with. In case an earthquake starts, remember these three actions:

  • Drop where you are on your hands and knees
  • Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand
  • Hold on until the shaking stops

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

Ready.gov has this basic disaster supplies kit that you can put together to ensure that you are prepared. You can use this template in building your own earthquake emergency preparation kit.

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Additional Items For Your Emergency Supply Kit

Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

  • Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids, or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils

Documents and Cash

  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Medical documents, prescription records, doctprs’ notes
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children

The Earthquake Starts, Now What?

  • Know where strong, stable structures are that may provide shelter if needed.
  • Avoid areas of poor construction or materials.
  • Stay calm. Stay alert.
  • Things change very quickly, and you should be ready to respond.

Earthquake Safety Tips

You might want to make note of these earthquake safety tips so you aren’t caught unaware if one starts.

  • Duck. Stay off heavy objects that may fall. Find an open area or stand in a doorway.
  • Seek protection under a heavy table or desk if you can’t get out of the building.
  • Stay inside your car if you’re driving when the earthquake strikes.
  • Move away from shelving and other movable objects if you’re in a mall or store.
  • In theaters and stadiums, duck under your seat and wait until the mob has largely left the area. Don’t get caught up in the panic-filled crowds.

Emergency Preparation Works For All Disasters!

So, whether you are in an area where earthquakes occur, where volcanoes might erupt, or where a hurricane might blow through, being prepared to face any emergency will help you and your loved ones survive whatever comes along.

Earthquake emergency preparation is the key for you to get started.

Once you feel you are prepared and able to respond quickly, you will find you have peace of mind and less stress.

Here’s a list of the 100 ways to prepare for emergencies.

The Survival Blueprint Course Is Coming!

Are you prepared to survive when natural disasters, pandemics, national disasters, or other emergency situations disrupt your daily life?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create your personal Survival Blueprint so that in just 4 weeks you will have an action plan that will help you be more self-sufficient when the world is crumbling around you.

If you are interested in learning more about being prepared for the unexpected, I am offering a course to help people create their own survival blueprint. With this blueprint, you will have an action plan that will help you be more self-sufficient just in case the unexpected does happen.

Let me know if you are interested in more information here and we’ll get you on the list!

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