April 8, 2014 — from Senator Boxer:
The recent earthquakes in Orange, Los Angeles and Napa Counties remind us all of the importance of being fully prepared for natural disasters.
The Department of Homeland Security and FEMA have put together some helpful tips on what to do before, during and after an earthquake to help protect you and your family.
Before an earthquake:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Secure items in your home that could fall during a quake, especially heavy objects and overhead light fixtures.
- Make sure water heaters, refrigerators, furnaces and gas appliances are strapped to the wall studs or bolted to the floor.
- Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations, and be sure your residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
- Identify safe spots to take cover in each room, such as under a sturdy table or against an inside wall.
- Hold earthquake drills with your family to practice “drop, cover, and hold on.”
During an earthquake:
- If indoors, drop to the floor; take cover under a sturdy table, desk or other piece of furniture; and hold on until the shaking stops.
- If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Do not use a doorway unless you know it is load-bearing – many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall.
- If you are in bed, hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
- Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
- If outdoors, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires to avoid falling debris.
- If driving, stop as quickly as safety permits; avoid stopping under or near buildings, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously after the shaking stops – roads, bridges or ramps may have been damaged.
After an earthquake:
- When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move. Then exit the building.
- Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in danger of further injury.
- Expect aftershocks as well as power outages. If you live in a coastal area, be aware of possible tsunamis and be ready to move to higher ground.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
- Authorities recommend using your telephone only for emergency calls. For further information on how to communicate after a disaster, click here.
- Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been requested by emergency personnel.
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Check for gas leaks and damage to electrical systems and water lines. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
For more information on how you and your family can be ready for a major earthquake, please go to Ready.gov or click here to visit the earthquake page on my website. To take part in California’s annual earthquake practice drill, the Great California ShakeOut, click here.
United States Senator
To respond to this message, please click here. This link will take you to a webpage where you can reply to messages that you receive from Senator Boxer’s office.