Prepare For Earthquakes Now

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Earthquake ImagePlanning and preparation at home and in the workplace will increase the chances of survival in a major earthquake. Please take a moment to review these guidelines developed by the California Emergency Management Agency

Before An Earthquake

Prepare an emergency kit of food, water, and supplies including a flashlight, portable battery-operated radio, batteries, medicines, first aid kit, money and clothing.

  • Know the safe spots in each room -- under sturdy tables, desks or against interior walls.
  • Know the danger spots -- near windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces and tall, unsecured furniture.
  • Conduct safety drills so you and your family know the safe locations in your home.
  • Decide how and where your family will reunite if separated during an earthquake.
  • Choose an out-of-state friend or relative who family members can call after the quake to report their whereabouts and conditions.
  • Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation.)
  • Learn how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged.
  • Check chimneys, roofs, walls, and foundations for stability. Make sure your house is bolted to the foundation.
  • Secure your water heater and major appliances as well as tall, heavy furniture, hanging plants, mirrors and picture frames (especially those over beds).
  • Organize your neighborhood to be self-sufficient after a quake.

 During An Earthquake

  • If outdoors, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines.
  • If in a high-rise building, stay away from windows and outside walls. Get under a table. Do not use elevators.
  • If driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside your car until the shaking is over.
  • If in a crowded public space or building, do not rush for the doors. Crouch and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

 After An Earthquake

  • Unless there is an immediate, life-threatening emergency do not use the telephone.
  • Check for gas and water leaks, broken electrical wiring or sewage lines. If there is damage, turn the utility off at the source. Immediately report gas leaks to PG&E (1-800-743-5000).
  • Check for downed power lines. Warn others to stay away.
  • Check your building for cracks and damage, including roofs, chimneys and foundations.
  • Turn on your portable radio for instructions and news reports. For your own safety, cooperate fully with public safety officials and follow instructions.
  • Do not use your vehicle unless there is an emergency. Keep the streets clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Stay calm and lend a hand to others.
  • If you evacuate, leave a message at your home telling family members and others where you can be found.

The Santa Clara Fire Department offers Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, a program on how to respond to the effects of an earthquake. This training focuses on how neighbors can help neighbors after an earthquake. For more information regarding the CERT Program or earthquake preparedness, call the City's Office of Emergency Services located in the Fire Department at 408-615-4942.

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