Quakes Happen, you need to get prepared.

Out here on the West coast, we have the highest risk of experiencing an earthquake. Are you and your family prepared? In this three-part series, we will be discussing:

  • How to prepare for an Earthquake

  • How to react during an Earthquake

  • What to do after an Earthquake

Earthquakes are extremely unpredictable, although some disagree.

The smart way to start is with a family meeting. Perhaps you want to sketch out a floor plan and discuss evacuation routes for each room. Talk about the proper way to react during the earthquake and where to meet outside when it is over and safe to move about. You need to discuss how to turn off the gas and water main and have a wrench close by.

Make sure earthquake preparedness kits are filled to survive for up to 3 days. People like to get a backpack or two, or a large plastic garbage can on wheels. Kits should be well stocked with 3 gallons of water per person, canned food & can opener, first aid kits, dust masks & goggles, battery operated radio, flashlights & blankets. You may also want to add batteries, extra cash, medication and copies of important documents. Fire extinguishers should also be readily available. You may want to look into getting First Aid & CPR training to help to care for injured people.


Take a tour of your home. If you are in a high-risk area where it is most possible to experience an earthquake you should prepare your home. You may even want to look into purchasing Earthquake insurance. Call your state insurance commissioner about the availability of this type of insurance in your area.

Reinforce chimneys and other attached structures.

Use flexible lines for gas and water to prevent leaks. If you have any hanging plants or furniture, make sure you have closed hooks and they are not close to any windows.

Secure your water heater and large appliances and dressers by strapping them to the floor or wall studs.

Remove large or heavy items from higher shelving. Move any items from above your bed or couch to avoid having them land on you during a quake.

Fill in cracks in your walls.

Store you glass and china in secured cabinets that are low to the ground. Consider installing latches on cabinets in the kitchen and in the garage.

Keep surrounding tree limbs trimmed.

You may want to consider applying a safety film to your windows and glass doors.

You may contact the U.S. Geological Survey https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards to find out if you are close to an active fault.

Prepare your house and your family for an earthquake now, to keep you safe, if and when an earthquake happens.