During National Preparedness Month, the City of Aliso Viejo has been offering residents weekly tips designed to keep them safe during an emergency. This week’s message focuses on earthquake preparedness.
Here are some basics to keep in mind:
Secure potential hazards in your home. Reducing and eliminating hazards throughout your home, neighborhood, workplace and school can greatly reduce your risk of injury or death following the next earthquake or disaster. Fix things such as unsecured televisions, computers, bookcases, furniture, unstrapped water heaters, etc. Securing these items now will help to protect you tomorrow.
Create a disaster plan. Make sure your emergency plan includes food and water; evacuation and reunion plans; location of your emergency supplies; and other pertinent information. Know how to turn off the gas, water and electricity to your home.
Create a disaster supply kit. Like the City discussed last week, everyone should have disaster-supply kits stored in accessible locations at home, work and in your vehicle. Click here for details.
During earthquakes and aftershocks: Drop, Cover, and Hold On.
If indoors: stay indoors and don’t run outside. Drop, cover and hold on. Drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to it firmly. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops. If you are not near a desk or table, drop to the floor against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances and kitchen cabinets with heavy objects or glass.
If outdoors: move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles and other hazards.
If driving: pull over to the side of the road, stop and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
After the earthquake, check for injuries and damage. One of the first things you should do following a major disaster is to check for injuries and damages that need immediate attention. You should be able to administer basic first aid and identify hazards such as damaged gas, water, sewage and electrical lines.
For more tips, visit www.earthquakecountry.org.