Would you know what to do in the event of an earthquake? Either before or after one happens? Many of us don’t think of preparing for such events because we figure that “it will never happen to me”. Well, with all the catastrophic events that have happened around the world in recent years, it demonstrates that it can happen to ordinary folks like you and I. It’s better to be prepared for something that may never happen than to find yourself unprepared when it does happen!

As a rural community, if an earthquake was to hit our area, it could be up to a week before emergency personnel could get to us. As a community, we have to be prepared.

Here are some tips on how you can prepare your home and plan for an earthquake. Information taken from John Martin & Associates – Earthquake Guides.

Individual and Family Preparedness

1. Know the safe spots in each room-under sturdy tables, desks or against inside walls.
2. Know the danger spots-windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces, tall furniture.
3. Conduct practice drills. Physically place yourself and your children in safe locations.
4. Learn first aid and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) from your local Red Cross Chapter or other community organization.
5. Decide where your family will reunite if separated.
6. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
7. Choose an out-of-state friend or relative whom family members can call after the quake to report whereabouts and conditions.

Home Preparedness

1. Learn how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged.
2. Check chimneys, roofs and wall foundations for stability. Make sure your home is bolted to its foundation. Call a licensed contractor if there are any questions.
3. Secure water heater and appliances that could move enough to rupture utility lines.
4. Keep breakable and heavy objects on lower shelves.
5. Secure hanging plants and heavy picture frames or mirrors (especially those hanging over beds).
6. Put latches on cabinet doors to keep them closed during shaking.
7. Keep flammable or hazardous liquids such as paints, pest sprays or cleaning products in cabinets or secured on lower shelves.
8. Maintain emergency food, water and other supplies, including medicine, first aid kit and clothing.