How to prepare for an earthquake
The best thing you can do to prepare for an earthquake is to not be in a building that is likely to collapse like a stack of pancakes when the ground shakes. That means you should check the building codes of your home, office, your child's school and see if they are constructed out of non-ductile concrete. In Los Angeles, building codes were updated in 1979, so if a building was built before then it might need to be retrofitted in order to be safe. It is extremely concerning that many schools in Los Angeles are known to not be safe buildings. You can read more about how you can check if a building is safe here.
There are a lot of small steps you can take that greatly increase your safety during an earthquake. The number one thing you can do when it hits is to protect your head and body from harmful debris. The best way to do that is to safely secure items that put you at risk. You can use the below items to secure shelves, bookcases, cabinets, and more. Also put a pair of sneakers by your bed to protect your feet - and know that the best thing you can do during an earthquake is to sleep through it.
Even the Pope trusts in a helmet. Everyone in your household could benefit from having a helmet nearby. It is common in Japan to keep a folding helmet like the one below, both at work and home. Other options include a basic hard hat, or a more advanced helmet with a face shield and ear protection. You only get one head!
Gas shutoff & fire prevention.
After an earthquake, a big risk is a gas leak, which could also lead to an explosion. The best precaution you can take is to install an automatic gas shutoff valve. Another great option is the On Duty 4-in-1 Tool or a common wrench. It is a best practice to attach the device you will use to the utility box. If you turn it off, don't turn it back on yourself, call the gas company to do that. Be sure to also have a fire extinguisher, or five, around as well.
Search & rescue tools.
Be prepared for search and rescue. If you are a trapped victim, use a whistle instead of yelling in order to save your energy and to be more likely heard by first responders. Consider the additional items to protect both you and others.
Receive NOAA alerts and stay in touch with your loves ones even if cell service is down. The two-way NOAA radios from Midland are our top recommendation.
Bug out bag.
Be prepared to evacuate for up to 72 hours. Below are three great ready-to-go bag options. Note that you will still want to add personal items like a change of clothes, medications, a local map, and important documents.
Shelter at home.
Experts recommend being ready to shelter at home for up to two weeks. That means having enough water, food, and other basics in case supply chain lines remain disrupted. Enjoy peace of mind by being prepared.