Mother Nature is on her own agenda lately. Scientists are predicting a major earthquake in California. With all of the natural disasters occurring, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here’s everything you need to know to be fully prepared for “The Big One”.

You can use this handy Los Angeles Times map to find out if your home is earthquake-safe.

Before:

  • Secure items that could fall and injure someone. Ex: shelves, mirrors, light fixtures, appliances, televisions
  • Move beds and couches away from windows and remove any hanging items from above seats.
  • Create an earthquake preparedness kit – see below.
  • Create a plan with family, where to meet up, and figure out how you will communicate if phone service is lost.
  • Practice: “Drop, Cover, Hold on!”

During:

  • Drop to the ground, cover your head (back of your head), and hold on!
  • If you are inside, move under a table or in a doorway close to the center of the building.
    • DO NOT try to leave the building. Wait for shaking to stop.
  • If you are outside, move away from buildings, poles, trees, and wires.
  • If you are in a car, stop the car away from buildings or anything that might fall. Stay inside the car and cover your head until the shaking stops.

After:

  • Look around. If the building you are in is damaged, get away carefully.
    • Do not use elevators.
  • Find a clear path to an open area.
  • Check for water or gas leaks and exposed wires.
    • Turn off water, gas, and electric in the event of a leak.
  • If you smell gas, open windows and doors and evacuate quickly. Contact authorities.
  • If you are trapped, do not kick up dust or try to move debris. Tap loudly on something near you so people can find you.
    • Only shout if it’s your last resort, as it can cause damage to your health to breathe in dust.
  • Expect aftershocks. Be ready to drop, cover, and hold on again.
  • Turn on the radio and listen for instructions.
  • Help those that are injured.
  • Stay away from beaches and damaged areas.

Create an emergency preparedness kit for your home, workplace or car. Store it in something that you can take with you if needed. Make sure it is in an easily accessible location and everyone knows where it is.

What to include in your kit:

  • One gallon of water per person per day.
    • Include at least three days worth of water.
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable foods.
    • Try to avoid salty foods as you will have limited water.
  • Baby formula, diapers, wipes.
  • Pet food and extra water.
  • A manual can opener.
  • Battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Wrench to turn off gas and water
  • Portable phone chargers (fully charged)
  • Medicine and other prescription products (glasses, etc).
  • Toilet paper, moist towelettes, feminine products, toothbrushes.
  • Garbage bags
  • Cash. Enough for food, hotel and travel for at least a week. Credit cards will not work.
  • List of contact info for family and friends.
  • Important documents in waterproof container (passport, social security cards, certificates, bank account numbers)
  • An inventory of valuable items
  • Waterproof matches
  • Change of clothes and pair of shoes.
  • A blanket
  • Mess kit – cup, utensils, plate.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Crayons or games for children


  1. […] are a number of steps you can take to be prepared. Check out the earthquake survival guide we wrote for UpOut LA. Learn what to do before, during, and after a quake, plus, everything you […]

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