In light of the tragedy that has taken place in Japan, California is reminded that it is part of what is known as earthquake country.
The San Andreas Fault produces large earthquakes. A comprehensive statewide analysis determined that the chance of having one or more magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquakes in California over the next 30 years is 99.7%
When it comes to the next big California earthquake, the question is not if, it’s when.
Living along the San Andreas Fault, tremors happen often, usually without our notice. Today there was 2.2 earthquake 9 miles north of Santa Clarita.
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San Francisco, Loma Prieta, Northridge—such major earthquakes have caused tremendous destruction and have left parts of California unable to function for weeks.
Preparing your family and home and knowing the proper procedures to take during an earthquake are imperative to keeping you and your family safe during a time of disaster.
This information about disaster preparedness is provided by Earthquake Country Alliance, USGS, and California Earthquake Authority.
In the event of an earthquake where there may be no electricity or running water for days, the following items are essential in keeping your family safe and healthy:
- First aid kit
- Dust masks
- Water (1 gallons per day per person)
- Emergency cash
- Road maps
- Non perishable canned food
- Personal hygiene supplies
- Comfort item such as games, crayons, writing materials
- Toiletries and special provisions you need for yourself and others I our family
- Copies of personal identification and vital documents
- Portable radio
- 30 gallon plastic bags
- Pet food
- Comfortable warm clothes
- Blankets and sleeping bags
- Flashlights with extra batteries
Keeping these items in a large trash bin or in backpacks will ensure that when the big one strikes, these essential items are ready.
Identify potential hazards in your home and take steps to fix them. An example would be installing latches on cabinets or securing heavy items to the wall.
Have a plan.
Create a plan so that you and your family will know where you will take cover in your home in the event of an emergency
If you are indoors, drop, cover, and hold on. Take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on firmly until the shaking stops. If you are in bed, stay there and protect your head with a pillow. If you are in outdoors, move to a clear area free from power lines, trees, signs, buildings and other hazards. In any occasion, if you are inside, stay inside. If you are outside, stay outside.
After the earthquake hits, it is imperative to take steps to make sure that the safety of you and your family is not at risk. Assess all injuries and know the proper steps to take in the case of wounds or cessation of breathing. Get medical attention for serious injuries.
Shut off the main gas valve to your home and stay clear of downed power lines as they may still be active. Always be aware and cautious because there will likely be aftershocks.