The dramatic scenes of the devastation after any large earthquake, should remind us to take preventive actions to make sure that when an earthquake of substantial size strikes us, that we are prepared.

California sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire contains 452 volcano’s and is one of the most seismic active areas in all the world. Approximately 90% of all the world’s earthquakes and 80% of the most powerful earthquakes, happen along this Ring.

Researchers warn that California is due for another powerful earthquake. It would be in our best interest to be prepared. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home and which supplies you should have at hand.

Hazards in the Home

  • Place heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Locate beds away from windows and chimneys.
  • Use straps or strapping to secure your water heater from falling.
  • Store valuable documents and special small keepsakes in a fire-resistant place.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with locked latches.
  • Secure shelves, mirrors, pictures and large cabinets to the wall. Most injuries happen from falling items.


  • Teach all family members how to turn off the water, gas and electricity.
  • Turn off gas if you smell gas or hear a hissing noise.
  • Take a CPR and First Aid training course                                                                                                                                   .
  • During an earthquake duck, cover and hold on. Most injuries from earthquakes come from items falling on to you. You need to protect your head and body by finding a safe haven under a table or doorway and hold-on until the earthquake ends.

Disaster Supplies

Here is a list of items we suggest you have available. Plan on being on your own for at least 3 days. Emergency services will be overloaded and general services may take several days before they are reinstated.

  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Battery powered radio.
  • First Aid Kit and Manual.
  • Food and Water (Plan on at least 3 days of food and  water. For water, plan on 12 liters per person per day. Get food that is easy to prepare, does not need heating of cooling and is easy to preserve or consume).
  • Water purification tablets.
  • Non electrical can opener.
  • Essential medicines.
  • Cash or credit cards.
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Small fire extinguisher.
  • Water proof matches.
  • Wrench (turn off gas).
  • Toiletry items (soap, toothpaste, bath tissue).
  • Plastic tarp or tent, in case staying inside is not an option.
  • Sleeping Bags or blankets.

Extra items to Consider

  • If water is still running fill bathtub and extra containers.
  • If you turn off your gas a professional must restart it. DO NOT restart it yourself.
  • Designate an out of State contact. Telephone lines within the State maybe overloaded. You may find better success calling a relative out-of-state. Leave messages here for other family members.
  • Confine pets. Being scared they may act aggressive or they may hide making it hard to locate them.

Here is a start for you to begin getting prepared. For more information visit the FEMA, CDC or local government websites.


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