RIDGECREST, Calif. (KGET) — With two powerful earthquakes hitting near Ridgecrest the past two days, seismologists are reminding residents it’s a matter of when, not if, the next one hits.
The American Red Cross has tips for earthquake safety.
Before an earthquake hits
- Assemble an emergency preparedness kit with easy-to-carry supplies.
- Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
- Stay informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
- Educate your family on how to use the Safe and Well website to inform loved ones of your status.
- Download the Emergency App for iPhone or Android.
During an earthquake:
Staying safe indoors
- Drop, cover and hold on.
- Move as little as possible – most injuries during earthquakes occur because of people moving around, falling and suffering sprains, fractures and head injuries.
- Try to protect your head and torso.
- If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on, and cover your head.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
- If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
- Be aware that smoke alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
- If you smell gas, get out of the house and move as far away as possible.
- Before you leave any building check to make sure that there is no debris from the building that could fall on you.
Staying Safe Outdoors
- Find a clear spot and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops.
- Try to get as far away from buildings, power lines, trees, and streetlights as possible.
- If you’re in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible.
- Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
- After the shaking has stopped, drive on carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
- If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris as well as landslides.
After an earthquake
- If away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
- Check yourself for injuries and get first aid, if necessary, before helping injured or trapped persons.
- Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tsunami if you live on a coast.
- Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
- Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.