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Office of Emergency Management

Earthquake

Living in Southern California, we all have a responsibility to be prepared for the next damaging earthquake.  The Los Angeles region has a very seismically active past.  With that in mind, the time is now to take steps to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the next seismic event.

Being prepared for earthquakes can be easy, we suggest you follow these simple steps:

1. Get a Kit-We recommend that you are prepared to be on your own for up to 7 days.  An emergency preparedness kit should include food, water, bedding, medications, pet preparedness materials, and other items you rely on.

2. Make a Plan-Every individual, family, business and organization should have an emergency plan.  An emergency plan should consist of important contact information, including out of state contacts and meeting place locations.

3. Be Informed-Sign up for SM Alerts or visit our weblinks page.

 

 

 

Should an earthquake occur...

Drop Cover and Hold On

Indoors:

Drop, cover, and hold on.  During earthquakes, drop to the floor take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly.  Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.  If you are not near a desk or table, drop to the floor against the interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.  Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and kitchen cabinets with heavy objects or glass.  Do not go outside! 

In bed:

If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.  You are less likely to be injured staying where you are.

Near the beach:

Drop, cover, and hold on until the shaking stops.  Estimate how long the shaking lasts.  If severe shaking lasts 20 seconds or more, immediately evacuate to high ground as a tsunami might have been generated by the earthquake.  Move inland 3 kilometers (2 miles) or to land that is at least 30 meters (100 feet) above sea level immediately.  Walk quickly, rather than drive, to avoid traffic, debris and other hazards.  

After an Earthquake...

 

Check for injuries:  

  • If a person is bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound.  Use clean gauze or cloth, if available.
  • Administer rescue breathing if necessary.
  • Carefully check children or others needing special assistance.
  • Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  • Get medical help for serious injuries.

Check for damage:  

  • If possible, put out small fires immediately.
  • Shut off the main gas valve only if you suspect a leak.  Wait for the gas company to turn it back on.
  • Shut off power at the main breaker switch if there is any damage to your house wiring.  Unplug broken lights or appliances as they could start fires.
  • Hazardous materials such as bleach, chemicals, and gasoline should be covered with dirt or cat litter.
  • Stay away from chimneys or brick walls with visible cracks.  Don’t use a fireplace with a damaged chimney.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and objects in contact with them.

The first days after the earthquake: 

  • Until you are sure there are no gas leaks, do not use open flames or operate any electrical or mechanical device that can create a spark.
  • Never use the following indoors: camp stoves, gas lanterns or heaters, gas or charcoal grills, or gas generators.  These can release deadly carbon monoxide or be a fire hazard in aftershocks.
  • Turn on your portable or car radio for information and safety advisories.
  • Check on the condition of your neighbors.
  • If power is off, plan meals to use up refrigerated and frozen foods first.
  • If your water is off or unsafe, you can drink from water heaters, melted ice cubes, or canned vegetables.
  • Report damage to your local building department and to your local office of emergency services.

 

Do not leave home just because utilities are out of service or your home and its contents have suffered only moderate damage


If you cannot stay in your home 

If you do evacuate, tell a neighbor and your out-of-state contact. 

 

For more information regarding actions to take during an earthquake go to www.dropcoverholdon.org 

 

City of Santa Monica © 2017

1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-8411 · TTY (310) 917-6626