What you need to know in the wake of a natural disaster

Local News

Protecting your home:

  • Have an inspector check your home to make sure it can your they can withstand an earthquake.
  • Locate your emergency gas service shutoff valve and learn how to turn off your home’s gas. (Gas shutoff includes your main line and individual appliances)
  • Don’t turn off your home’s gas unless there is a clear sign that it is leaking. (Depending on how many customers are without gas service, it may take an extended period of time for PG&E to turn your gas services back on).
  • Locate your home’s main electric switch and learn how to turn off your electricity.
  • Inspect your home/building for any hazards inside.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy items on lower shelves.
  • Place fragile items such as glass or bottled food in low, closed cabinets with locks. 
  • Don’t place heavy items such as pictures and mirrors near beds, couches, and anywhere people may sit or sleep.
  • Make sure to fasten  overhead light fixtures.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections to reduce the likelihood of a fire. 
  • Secure water heater by strapping it to the wall.
  • Repair any damage in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of significant structural damage.
  • Securely store flammable products in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.

Protecting your family: 

  • Have any form of identification and cash ready. 
  • Prepare and create an emergency plan. Make sure you go over it with your family, so they are well informed. 
  • Discuss earthquakes with your family. It’s important everyone knows what to do in case of an earthquake. Talking in advance will help reduce fear among young children. 
  • Locate safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school (under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows).
  • Practice DROP, COVER and HOLD ON. 
  • Make sure you have access to NOAA weather radio broadcasts or purchase a NOAA hand crank radio from the Red Cross store.
  • Check to see that your emergency preparedness kit is up-to-date. Make sure that your kit allows your family to take care of themselves for at least three to seven days. 
  • Stay informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
  • Check your workplace and your children’s schools to learn about their earthquake emergency plans.

Protecting your pets:

  • If your home is not safe for you to stay in, it’s not safe for your pets either. 
  • Look out for hazards that can harm your pets (substances that might not be dangerous to humans but can be for your pets).
  • Prepare your pet’s medicine. 
  • Make sure pet is up-to-date with vaccinations.
  • Consider “microchipping” your pet in case they run away in the midst of an emergency. 
  • Make sure you include supplies in your emergency kit for your pets (medicine, leashes, muzzle, water bowl, etc.)
  • Many hotels and shelters do not accept pets, plan ahead (most places will accept service dogs)
  • Current photos of your pets in case they get lost. 
  • Create a list of information regarding feeding schedules and medical conditions.
  • Have your veterinarian’s name and number in hand. 
  • Pack beds and toys if time permits. 

Emergency kit Checklist:

  • Cash and identification on hand
  • Flashlight with batteries 
  • Tools and utensils 
  • Drinking water
  • Canned food 
  • Blankets, pillows and clothing 
  • Basic toiletries 
  • Basic first aid supplies 
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Extra batteries 
  • Mobile phone
  • Charged portable charger 
  • Prescriptions 
  • Supplies for baby, elderly and special needs family members
  • Pet supplies 
  • Important documents (passport or family photos)

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