How to protect yourself after an earthquake

How to Protect Yourself After an Earthquake

If you live in California, it’s not a matter of if, but when an earthquake will strike. It’s important to be prepared ahead of time with the necessary supplies but do you know what to do after an earthquake has hit? Here are some tips on how you can stay safe in the aftermath of an earthquake.

  • Earthquakes can destroy or make buildings and roads unsafe. Stay away from damaged areas.
  • Check water, gas and electrical lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately and call 9-11.
  • Use extreme caution around debris. Don’t attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself and assist with rescues only if you can do so safely.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy thick soled shoes during cleanup. These will protect you from further injury from broken glass, exposed nails or other objects.
  • Stay away from beaches. Tsunamis sometimes hit after the ground has stopped shaking.
  • Turn on the radio. Don’t use the phone unless it’s an emergency.
  • Photograph or take a video of damage to your property to assist with filing an insurance claim.
  • Expect aftershocks. These additional earthquakes are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to further damage weakened structures. They can occur in the first hours, days, weeks or even months after the quake. Be ready to protect yourself.