Sunny California, as luxurious as it is, does have its fair share of earthquakes; about 10,000 a year. The San Andreas Fault line is the biggest fault running through Southern California at 1,200 kilometers; that’s about 13,200 football fields! Not to mention the 100+ smaller faults surrounding San Andres. Luckily, a majority of the earthquakes that occur are so small that they are not even felt. (Click Here to see faults near you.) However, are you prepared for when a bigger earthquake hits?
Before it Hits
One of the best precautions you can take before an earthquake happens is to have a plan. Have a plan with your family or other housemates about where to meet in an emergency and who to contact. In an emergency, it can be quite chaotic and phone lines could be down or overused. However, if you plan ahead and agree on a place to meet then communication shouldn’t be an issue.
If a big earthquake occurs, settlements could collapse and food places may be out of service. Therefore, another precaution to be taken is to prepare a bag that includes a decent amount of water, non-perishable food, first aid supplies, a flare and some money if possible, and perhaps a change of clothes. Doing this in advance will allow your necessities to be located in one bag that you can quickly grab on the way out.
During an Earthquake
When you feel the rumbling of an earthquake you should stop where you are and get under the closest sturdy structure, cover your head, and hang on. A table or desk are usually good options, yet, standing inside of a doorway is also protective; just remember to cover your head. Do not attempt going down the stairs during an earthquake, many accidents have happened from doing so; it is best to stay where you are and find cover.
After a Quake
Get to a safe, with your emergency kit if needed, and make sure that you are okay. Once you are safe you can check on and help others. Follow the plan you made in advance to properly get connected and locate your family and other loved ones. Be sure to look out for hazards such as fallen power lines, large cracks in the road, and unstable building structures/ruins.