How to Prepare Before an Earthquake Hits
It’s a matter of when, not if, a major earthquake hits California. We’ve had a period of relative seismic calm – a 2.9 here, a 4.2 there – but statistically speaking, that won’t last. The San Andreas Fault is capable of the same level of seismic activity that produced a deadly 7.8 quake that devastated parts of Turkey and Syria and killed thousands this week.
Are you ready? Will you be resilient in the process?
At the LA Times, we have a newsletter series called Unshaken. Week by week, in six episodes, you’ll learn how to put together an earthquake kit for your home and car, secure your furniture, belongings, home and finances for a big earthquake, and start a family. plan. Unshaken is free. You will receive an edition each week outlining your disaster preparedness to-do list. You can sign up for Unshaken here or on the LA Times newsletters page.
Prepare for the earthquake in six weeks
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Here are some key things experts recommend you do to prepare for an earthquake.
1. Have an emergency kit, including a bed kit and a carry kit
You need to have a mini-kit on hand to navigate your home immediately after a disaster. This is called a ‘bed kit’ and should include hard-soled shoes, a flashlight and a pair of glasses or contact lenses if you need them to see.
Your primary emergency kit should contain food, water, and supplies to get your family through a few days without electricity or running water.
Many Californians spend a good portion of their time on the road. In your car you should have a kit with a first aid kit, a blanket, a change of clothes, money to buy gas, a spare tire and some food and water. emergency.
If you’re not traveling by car, remember to keep comfortable flat shoes, cash, a cell phone charger, a small first aid kit, water, and a snack with you when you’re on the go.
2. Know your neighbors
Caltech research associate Lucy Jones, the seismologist known as ‘the lady of the earthquake’, says knowing your neighbors is just as important, if not more so, than having a fully charged emergency kit at hand. handy. While the devastation can be instantaneous, the effects can last for hours, days, weeks, or even years in some communities. Knowing the names of people who live close enough to share water, batteries, blankets or their shelter with you could make a vital difference.
3. Protect your home, inside and out
Are your furniture fixed to the walls? Are these walls remodeled or up to code? Do you have adequate earthquake insurance? Do you have emergency cash that cuts out the electricity (and credit card readers with it)?
This is the perfect time to check these things out, before it becomes a matter of life or death.
4. Make a family plan
How will you communicate if the cell towers fail, and who will you call? Where would your family meet if you were separated at the time of the disaster? Do all family members have registered emergency phone numbers? The Federal Emergency Management Agency says less than half of Americans have developed an emergency plan or reviewed it with their family. Let’s go up those numbers.
Los Angeles Times