How to prepare for an earthquake

By David Jacobson, Temblor

Check your earthquake risk in Temblor

Damage to a school caused by the 24 August 2014 Napa, CA earthquake. (Photo from: Napa Valley Register)

Drop, cover, and hold on at 10:20 am today:

October 20th marks the 9th official Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. Begun in 2008 in California, the drill, which has expanded globally, provides an opportunity for people to practice what to do during an earthquake and to increase preparedness. With over 53 million participants worldwide, the drill first and foremost teaches people how to protect themselves. Fortunately, it’s as easy as DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON. By following these three simple steps, you will place yourself in the best situation to prevent injury.

For additional ShakeOut information: Click Here

Courtesy of

Understand your hazard:

One of the most valuable ways to prepare for an earthquake is to know the hazards that surround you. Are there big faults nearby? What’s the largest earthquake I will likely experience in my lifetime? Am I in a liquefaction or landslide zone? Should I get earthquake insurance or retrofit my home? These are the questions people should be asking themselves. You can find the answers to all of these questions on Temblor.

Prepare an earthquake kit:

In the event of an earthquake, having an earthquake kit will ensure that you and your family are better prepared, and can get through the initial stages more comfortably. You can either make a kit yourself, or they can be purchased through Amazon. If you choose to make your own kit, we suggest the following items at a minimum.

• Warm clothes and walking shoes
• Water (1 gallon per person, per day)
• Non-perishable food
• First aid kit and medications
• Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries
• Money

While you can put many more items in an earthquake kit such as entertainment material, a multi-purpose tool, emergency blanket, or face masks, the six items listed above will at least help you through the aftermath of an earthquake.

An example earthquake kit

Earthquakes are serious threats and must be understood:

So far this year, there have been over 11,000 M=4+ earthquakes, which have caused billions of dollars worth of damage and claimed over 1,000 lives. Knowing the serious threat earthquakes pose and the damage they can cause is vital towards protecting ourselves. Here’s a look at footage from a few earthquakes in the last several years.