Considering the recent 6.1 earthquake that shook Napa Valley and the surrounding areas last week, this seems like a good time to assess if you and your family are earthquake prepared. Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, and they can occur at any time of the year, day or night. Forty-five states and territories in the U.S. are at moderate to very high risk of earthquakes, and they are located in every region of the country. The American Red Cross has some tips on how to prepare for an earthquake such as:
- Become aware of fire evacuation and earthquake safety plans for all of the buildings you occupy regularly
- Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
- Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed in case the earthquake strikes in the middle of the night.
- Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
- Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
- Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
- Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
It is also suggested to have an emergency supplies kit readily available in case a severe earthquake or other natural disaster strikes. This kit should include:
- Water—one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food—non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Extra cash
- Family and emergency contact information