In light of the number and severity of the earthquakes in the Ridgecrest area, it’s a good idea for all of us to review our personal earthquake plans and kits to ensure that we can survive and thrive during and after a devasting quake. Here are a few tips:
- Remember the DROP, COVER and HOLD ON drill that we practice every year during the California Shake Out. That isn’t just for work. Find that heavy piece of furniture in your home and get under it and hold on in the event of a serious quake. Stay under cover until the shaking stops. Resist the urge to run outside during the shaking. There are hazards outside with falling objects and possible downed power lines that you need to avoid.
- Have a first aid kit or first aid supplies in your home. During an earthquake, we cannot rely on first responders for help. We must all be self sufficient and that includes first aid.
- Develop an initial earthquake plan as to where you will go following a serious quake. Consider that you and your family might not be together when the quake hits and determine a location that you will all meet after the quake.
- Local communication systems will most likely be compromised. Have a person outside the affected area to check in with after the quake via text, email, phone or social media. Everyone in your family should check in with the same person so everyone can be accounted for.
- Have supplies with you at your home and in your car that will sustain you and your family for several days. Food, water and clothing items are the basics in the earthquake kit but cash, medication, eyeglasses, contact lenses/solution, cell phone charger and pet food are often overlooked items. It is important that everyone develop their own personal list of items and assemble the kits or augment pre-made kits that have been purchased.
- Know how to turn off the utilities (gas, water and electricity) in your home. Gas may require a special tool to turn off. Know this in advance.
- Always ensure that you as much gas in your car as possible. Electricity will most likely be compromised in the event of a serious quake and electricity is required for gas stations to pump gas. After a quake, you may not be able to get gas in the affected areas for hours or days.