10 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Earthquakes - PIH Health

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Published on January 16, 2017

Are You Prepared for the Big One?

Earthquake graph

Earthquake GraphFor years Californians have been hearing about the “Big One,” an earthquake that is estimated to be a magnitude of 8.0 or greater along the state’s largest fault. According to Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, the San Andreas Fault is, “locked, loaded and ready to roll.” An earthquake of this caliber could be devastating to our homes, roads and water supply. It sounds scary, but Californians can prepare for what is likely to come.

10 Things You Can Do Now to Prepare for Earthquakes

According to Carole Snyder RN, PIH Health program manager of Emergency Preparedness, here are 10 things that you can do to prepare for earthquakes.

  1. Have a plan. Create a communications plan with your family and establish a meeting place to ensure that family members are accounted for.
  2. Check for hazards in your home. Make sure to fasten shelves securely to walls, move heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds and repair any structural defects.
  3. Purchase bottled water. It is important to have at least one gallon per person per day for three to 10 days to be used for drinking and cooking.
  4. Store foods that require little preparation. Canned foods, granola bars and vacuum sealed foods are good choices because they do not require refrigeration and have long shelf lives. Don’t forget to include food for your infants and pets.
  5. Be sure to include personal hygiene products, supplies and a first-aid kit. Items such as blankets, tarps, toilet paper, moist towelettes, scissors, lighters, a can opener, fire extinguisher, crank radio, flashlight, etc. should also be included.
  6. Don’t forget medication. If you or a family member is dependent on prescription medication, make sure to include a month’s supply in your emergency kit.
  7. Make copies of important documents and a set aside a small amount of cash. When large natural disasters strike, Internet access may not be possible and electronic bank cards may not work.
  8. Keep your gas tank full. In the event of an emergency, it may be difficult to fill up your tanks. Try not to let the gas tank in your car get below a half tank.
  9. Prepare a small emergency kit for your car. You could be on the road when a large earthquake hits. Use a backpack to store a supply of food, water, walking shoes and first aid items.
  10. If you experience an earthquake, conduct a home safety check. Immediately following an earthquake, it is important for you to check for downed power lines, water and gas leaks. Make sure that you have a wrench in your supply kit and know how to shut off your electricity, water and gas if necessary.

Emergency Drinking Water is available for sale in the gift shops at PIH Health Whittier Hospital and PIH Health Downey Hospital. These cans can be stored in your car, home or office and have a 50 year shelf life.

For more information on earthquake preparedness, visit: http://www.pihhealth.org/wellness/caring-for-our-community/disaster-resource-center/

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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