a family emergency plan
Hold a home evacuation drill.
Choose a nearby meeting place.
Have a plan for reuniting.
Anticipate transportation failures.
Designate an out-of-state relative to be a check-in contact for everyone.
Mobile apps, like the Red Cross’ earthquake app, can allow family members to communicate.
Keep photos of family members and pets in your wallet, in case they go missing.
Text messages often go through when phone service is down.
Know routes to the nearest:
Police and fire stations
Hospital emergency room
Find out your school district’s disaster policy regarding transportation and the release of students.
Before the quake, familiarize yourself with the safe areas
in your house, office and other buildings you frequent.
Join with your neighbors and plan to help each other.
Identify residents’ expertise and vulnerable households that might need extra
Take a first-aid course. Learn CPR.
All family members should know how and when to turn off the
utilities: gas, electric and water.
Turn the gas off only if you hear hissing or smell gas.
Once turned off, gas can only be restarted by a trained technician.
Attach a wrench to your gas meter so it will be handy. To
shut off gas, turn the valve until it is perpendicular to the pipe.
If you see sparks, damaged wires or smell burning
insulation, switch the power off at the main breaker or fuse box. During a
prolonged outage, leave a single light circuit switched on. That way you’ll
know when the power is back.
Turn the water off if there is obvious leakage, or if
there’s a chance water lines are damaged, which could allow contamination. Wait
for notification that lines are OK before turning it back on.
Get an emergency kit www.EmPrep.com
If you do nothing else, be prepared to spend 7-10 days
without utilities, medical help or communications. Keep a family emergency kit
and store it near a door for easy access. Make sure everyone knows its
• Check for
hazards such as fire, leaks, chemical spills and precarious structures.
• Be cautious
in damaged buildings, and assess the conditions outside before exiting a
• Stay away
from downed power lines.
first aid and a safe place for anyone who is injured.
• Call 911 or
other emergency phone numbers only to report life-threatening emergencies.
Phone lines will be jammed, and increased calls can hamper rescue efforts.
• Avoid moving
severely injured people unless necessary.
water. Your community’s supply may be limited due to broken mains. Fill your
bathtub. Be prepared to treat, filter or boil contaminated water.
refrigerated food first, frozen food next and dried or canned food last.
• If the
electricity is out, open the refrigerator and freezer doors only when
necessary. Refrigerated food should be OK for about 6 hours; frozen food should
be safe for up to 48 hours