HOW TO GET PREPARED Help keep your family safe by taking three actions to: 1) Get a Kit. 2) Make a Plan. 3) Be Informed.
- First, build your emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for infants or pets, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
- Next, plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and what to do if you have to evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans. Don’t forget to include your pets. Remember, if you and your family need to evacuate, so does your pet. Know in advance which pet-friendly hotels are in your area, and where your pets can stay in an emergency situation.
- Finally, plan to stay informed by finding out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.
During an earthquake, avoid moving around. Drop, cover, and hold on.
- Try to protect your head and torso. If you are sitting at a desk or table, get under it. Otherwise, drop wherever you are.
- If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
- If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
- If you smell gas, get out of the building, and move as far away as possible.
- Before you leave any building check to make sure that there is no debris from the building that could fall on you.
If you are outside, find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees, and streetlights. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops.
- If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses, and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Then, drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
- If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
After an earthquake, expect and prepare for potential aftershocks.
- Anytime you feel an aftershock, drop, cover, and hold on.
- Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
- Also prepare for potential landslides, or a tsunami if you live in a coastal area.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open shelters and expert advice on earthquakes.
- The Emergency App includes an “I’m Safe” feature that helps people check on loved ones.
- Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.
HELP YOUR COMMUNITY National Preparedness Month is also a good time to take steps to help your community get prepared for emergencies of all sizes. By volunteering, donating blood or learning lifesaving skills, you can be ready to help your loved ones and neighbors when needed. Visit redcross.org to learn more.
Red Cross volunteers play several critical roles in their local communities, including providing aid after disasters and educating people about home fire safety. People can also support local military members, veterans and their families, or volunteer as a blood donor ambassador or a blood transportation specialist to be the critical link between blood donors and recipients.
Blood can take up to three days to be tested, processed, and made available for patients, so it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps to save lives in an emergency. To help prepare your community, make an appointment to donate blood or platelets and help save lives.
Learn lifesaving skills so you can help people in a crisis until medical professionals arrive. Sign up for a first aid, CPR or other classes available online or in-person.