Emergency Preparedness

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a cartoon house shaking to symbolize an earthquake.

When an earthquake or other disaster strikes. . . Be Prepared!

Smart Californians know that a quake can happen anytime. Be sure to have these items ready and accessible...

  • Portable radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Shoes - available under bed and in car
  • First aid kit
  • Water for each family member: One gallon per person per day with enough for at least three days
  • Food and water for petsNon-perishable food items, such as canned food, granola bars, MREs, etc.
  • Manual can opener
  • Required medications and eyeglasses
  • Other means of cooking, such as camp stove
    Emergency disinfection for drinking water
  • Blankets, warm clothes, shoes, gloves,
    protective goggles, hard hat
  • Useful tools – sledge hammer, crow bar, saw, duct tape, rope, adjustable wrench
  • A car charger for your cell phone

Useful Information…

  • The safest places in your home are away from heavy objects, appliances, windows, pictures, mirrors. During a quake, stay away from the kitchen!
  • Know the locations of gas, water and electrical shut-offs and know how to use them.
  • Set a location where family members will reunite. Remember, you may have to remain at work or school for a few days.
  • Have a central person of contact, preferably one who resides outside California.
  • Know the locations of the nearest police, fire stations and medical centers.

Following a Quake...

  • Put on shoes before moving around to prevent cuts from broken glass and debris.
  • Check others for injuries.
  • Inspect for fire or fire hazards.
  • Check for: a water meter with instructions on how to turn off the water meter.  The customer handle can be turned inline with the meter, turning the meter on, or at a 90 degree angle with the meter to turn it off.
    • Water heater
    • Water leaks (shut off at meter or at main house valve if any doubt).
    • Gas leaks (shut off main if in doubt).
    • Electrical damage (shut off service if in doubt).
  • Be extremely careful in and around kitchen, where broken glass, heavy appliances and spilled cleaning supplies can pose extra hazards. Use work gloves to protect your hands.
  • If you have a house phone, make sure the handset is in its cradle.
  • Locate your food and water supplies.
  • Be sure your pets are secure.
  • Listen to the radio for emergency instructions and information.


  • Eat or drink anything from open containers.
  • Use lighters or candles for lighting – gas leaks or aftershocks could cause a fire.



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