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Earthquake Awareness | Preparing for an Emergency

Yesterday’s earthquake that rocked the East Coast–felt as far south as South Carolina and as far north as Toronto, Canada–caught many off guard. Although the quake didn’t cause major damages or injuries, it left many in areas that usually don’t experience earthquakes wondering what they should do in the event of a major earthquake.

According to the United States Geological Survey:

DO stay indoors if you are already there.

DO duck, cover and hold under a desk or sturdy object.

DO get into the open and away from buildings if you are outside.

DO stop driving and stay in your car.

DO NOT assume doorways are safer than other parts of the house. They are not.

DO NOT use your telephone or call 911 unless it is an emergency. You don’t want to tie up the lines for those that need help.

DO NOT stop your car under a bridge, overpass, trees, lights or other items that could fall on you.

DO NOT expect police or paramedic services to work as normal.

Also, you should prepare plans for both work and home. The USGS recommends discussing earthquake plans with work, schools and daycares, and to make a standard meeting place where you can gather with family. Since community transportation may be unavailable and roads may be blocked, you should keep an emergency kit at work or in your car that includes comfortable walking shoes, bottled water and food items.

For home, understand where the gas, electric and water main shutoffs are located. Also, take CPR and first aid training and know multiple routes to get to your nearest fire and police stations and hospitals.

The USGS, FEMA, and American Public Health Association all have emergency supply lists that include items such as:

1. Fire extinguisher.

2. Adequate supplies of medications that you or family members are taking.

3. Crescent and pipe wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies.

4. First-aid kit and handbook.

5. Flashlights with extra bulbs and batteries.

6. Portable radio with extra batteries.

7. Water for each family member for at least two weeks (allow at least 1 gallon per person per day) and purification tablets or chlorine, bleach to purify drinking water from other sources.

8. Canned and package foods, enough for several days and MECHANICAL can opener. Extra food for pets if necessary.

9. Camp stove or barbecue to cook on outdoors (store fuel out of the reach of children).

10. Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal.

11. Supplies for your pets.

If you’re looking to teach your kids about earthquakes in a less scary way, check out the USGS website’s Earthquakes for Kids area. It has games, history, ideas, science projects and more.

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[/author_image] [author_info]About the Author

Jacqueline Wilson is a prime parent who is a wife, mother, published author and freelance writer. She writes here, on Prime Parents’ Club, and on her observational parenting humor blog, Writer Ramblings on Parenting Imperfectly. Follow her on Twitter as @WritRams or on Facebook.[/author_info]


Along with being a contributor to, Jacqueline Wilson is: Appalachia Advocate~Supporter of Women~Writer~Accidental Pit Bull Advocate.

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