In the aftermath of the earthquake
by Washington State Emergency Management
The following is an Earthquake Preparedness Home Checklist, for those who want to be ready in case of another quake in our area.
Drop, cover and hold
- Place beds so that they are not: next to large windows, right below hanging lights, right below heavy mirrors, right below framed pictures, or right below shelves with lots of things that can fall.
- Replace heavy lamps on bed tables with light, non-breakable lamps.
- Change hanging plants from heavy pots into lighter pots.
- Use closed hooks on hanging plants, lamps, etc.
- Make sure hooks (hanging plants, lamps, etc.) are attached to studs.
- Remove all heavy objects from high shelves.
- Remove all breakable things from high shelves.
- Replace latches, such as magnetic touch latches on cabinets, with latches that will hold during an earthquake.
- Take glass bottles out of medicine cabinets and put on lower shelves. (Parent note: If there are small children around, make sure you use childproof latches when you move things to lower shelves.)
- Remove glass containers that are around the bathtub.
- Move materials that can easily catch fire so they are not close to heat sources.
- Attach the water heater to the studs of the nearest wall.
- Move heavy objects away from exit routes in your house.
- Block wheeled objects so they cannot roll.
- Attach tall heavy furniture such as bookshelves to studs in walls.
- Use flexible connectors where lines connect to appliances such as stoves, water heaters, and dryers.
- Attach heavy appliances such as refrigerators to studs in walls.
- Nail plywood to ceiling joists to protect people from chimney bricks that could fall through the ceiling.
- Fasten heavy mirrors to walls.
- Fasten heavy pictures to walls.
- Brace air conditioners.
- Check roof tiles-make sure they are secure.
- Remove dead or diseased tree limbs that could fall on the house.
When you feel an earthquake, drop under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants, and other objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster or ceiling tiles. Stay under cover until the shaking stops. Hold onto the desk or table. If it moves, move with it. Here are some additional tips for specific locations:
After an earthquake, be prepared for aftershocks, and plan where you will take cover when these occur.
- If you're in a high-rise building and not near a desk or table, move against an interior wall, and protect your head with your arms. Face away from windows. Do not use the elevators. Do not be surprised if alarm or sprinkler systems come on.
- If you're outdoors, move to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings, or downed electrical wires and poles.
- If you're on a sidewalk near buildings, get into a building's doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster, and other debris.
- If you're driving, slowly pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.
- If you are in a crowded store or other public place, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves with objects that could fall on you.
- If you're in a wheelchair, stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels, and protect your head with your arms.
- If you're in the kitchen, move away from the refrigerator, stove, and cupboards.
- If you're in a stadium or theater, stay in your seat or get under it if possible, and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over.