be fooled! -- Myth number 6
FOR THE DOORWAY"
the early days of California, many homes were made of
adobe bricks with wooden doorframes. After a powerful
earthquake, doorframes were sometimes only parts of these
houses still standing. From this came the myth that a
doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake.
Today, few people in the Bay Area live in old,
unreinforced adobe houses. In modern houses, doorways may
be no stronger than any other part of the house and do
little to protect you from falling debris. You are safer
under a table, so "DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON."
6 -- After the Quake, Check for Injuries and
earthquake shaking has stopped, follow your disaster
preparedness plans (see Step 2). Most
The manual in your first aid kit and the front pages of
your telephone book have instructions on first aid
yourself for serious injuries before helping others.
Protect your mouth, nose, and eyes from dust.
a person is bleeding, put direct pressure on the
wound. Use clean gauze or cloth, if available.
a person is not breathing, administer rescue
a person's heart is stopped, begin CPR
not move seriously injured persons, unless they are in
immediate danger of further harm.
injured persons with blankets or additional clothing
to keep them warm.
for damage causing hazardous conditions
If possible, put out small fires in your home or
neighborhood immediately. Call for help, but don't
wait for the fire department.
Only turn off the gas if you suspect a leak
because of broken pipes or detect the odor or sound of
leaking natural gas. Use a manual gas shut off wrench
to close your main gas valve by turning it
counterclockwise. Don't turn gas back on by
yourself&emdash;wait for the gas company! (Your
telephone book has information on this topic.)
Shut off power at the main breaker switch if there
is any damage to your home wiring. Leave the power off
until the damage is repaired! (Your telephone book
also has information on this topic.)
If you see downed power lines, consider them
energized and keep yourself and others well away from
them. Never touch downed power lines or any objects in
contact with them!
Beware of heavy items tumbling off shelves when
you open closet and cupboard doors.
Use extreme caution; when in doubt, leave your
home! Spilled medicines, drugs, or other relatively
non-toxic substance can be cleaned up. Potentially
harmful materials, such as bleach, lye, garden
chemicals, paint, and gasoline or other flammable
liquids should be isolated or covered with an
absorbent material, such as dirt or cat litter.
Stay away from brick chimneys and walls. They may
be weakened and could topple during aftershocks. Don't
use a fireplace with a damaged chimney, as this could
start a fire or trap toxic gases in your
your home is seriously damaged...
your home is structurally unsafe or threatened by a fire
or other secondary disaster, you need to evacuate.
However, shelters may be overcrowded and initially lack
basic services, so do not leave home just because
utilities are out of service or your home and its
contents have suffered moderate damage.
you evacuate, tell a neighbor and your family
point-of-contact where you are going. Take the following,
if possible, when you evacuate:
to a shelter
disaster supply kits (see STEP 3).
of water, food, and snacks.
pillow, and air mattress or sleeping pad.
of clothing and a jacket.
formula, food, and other supplies for infants.
few family pictures or other small comfort items, such
as dolls or teddy bears for children.
identification and copies of household and health
and games (especially for children).
do not bring
(service animals for people with disabilities are
allowed&emdash;bring food for them).
quantities of unnecessary clothing or other personal
that might be lost, stolen, or take up needed
Web links: American Red Cross
of Bay Area Governments
Should I Do? -- Follow the Seven Steps to Earthquake
7 -- When Safe, Continue to Follow Your
you have met your and your family's immediate needs after
the next strong Bay Area earthquake, continue to follow
your disaster-preparedness plan (see Step 2).
first days after the earthquake. . .
the days following a damaging quake, pay special
attention to the following:
you suspect a gas leak, use a manual gas shut off
not re-enter your home until you know it is safe.
sure there are no gas leaks at your home before using
open flames (lighters, matches, candles, or grills) or
operating any electrical or mechanical device that
could create a spark (light switches, generators,
chain saws, or motor vehicles).
for chemical spills, faulty electrical wiring, and
broken water lines. Water in contact with faulty
wiring is a shock hazard.
broken or toppled light fixtures or appliances. These
could start fires when electricity is restored.
use the following indoors: camp stoves, kerosene or
gas lanterns or heaters, gas or charcoal grills, or
gas generators, as these can release deadly carbon
monoxide gas or be a fire hazard in
on your portable or car radio and listen for
information and safety advisories.
all phones back on their cradles.
your out-of-area contact, tell them your status, and
then stay off the phone&emdash;emergency responders
need the phone lines for life-saving
on your neighbors.
your food and water supplies
power is off, plan meals so as to use up refrigerated
and frozen foods first. If you keep the door closed,
food in your freezer may be good for a couple of
your water is off, you can drink from water heaters,
melted ice cubes, or canned vegetables. Avoid drinking
the water from swimming pools or hot tubs; use it to
first weeks after the earthquake. . .
is a time of transition. Although aftershocks may
continue, you will now work toward getting your life,
your home and family, and your routines back in order.
Emotional care and recovery are just as important as
healing physical injuries and rebuilding a home. Make
sure your home is safe to occupy and not in danger of
collapse in aftershocks. If you were able to remain in
your home or return to it after a few days, you will have
a variety of tasks to accomplish while reestablishing
your gas was turned off, you will need to arrange for
the gas company to turn it back on.
the electricity went off and then came back on, check
your appliances or electronic equipment for
water lines broke, look for water damage.
or replace critical documents that may have been
misplaced, damaged, or destroyed.
your insurance agent or company right away to begin
your claims process.
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to find
out about financial assistance (see FEMA
you cannot live at your home, set up an alternative
mailing address with the post office.
you cannot stay in your home...
American Red Cross (ARC) offers immediate emergency
assistance with housing needs. ARC also supports shelter
operations prior to a Presidential declaration of a
a Presidential declaration has been issued, the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may activate the
"Assistance for Individuals and Households Program." This
cash grants; the maximum of Federal grant available is
Assistance in the form of reimbursement for short-term
lodging expenses at a hotel or motel.
assistance for as long as 18 months in the form of
cash payment for a temporary rental unit or a
no other housing is available, FEMA may provide mobile
homes or other temporary housing.
mobile homes being set up in Port Charlotte, Florida, to
provide temporary housing for victims of Hurricane
Charley (August 2004). Nearly a year after the storm,
these trailers were still being used. (FEMA
be fooled! -- Myth number 7
DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT EARTHQUAKES -- THE GOVERNMENT
WILL SAVE ME!"
people wrongly believe that the U.S. Government will take
care of all their financial needs if they suffer losses
in an earthquake. The truth is that Federal disaster
assistance is only available if the President formally
declares a disaster. Even if you do get disaster
assistance, it is usually a loan that you must repay,
with interest, in addition to mortgages and other
financial obligations you still owe, even on damaged
property. If you don't qualify for loans, grants may be
available to you. However, these are only designed to
meet your most immediate needs, not to replace your
losses. (see Finance section)
help in the first week after an earthquake -- contact:
county office of emergency services
Office of Emergency Services (OES)
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Review of Money Matters
Impacts of Earthquakes
a quake, disaster aid may not be immediately available,
so you should plan ahead. If you have prepared a
financial disaster recovery plan, you are more likely to
recover successfully after a quake. Financial recovery
planning resources are available from:
financial disaster recovery kit
a damaging earthquake, you will need copies of essential
financial documents, as well as emergency cash. Keep
these items together, current, and stored in a fire-proof
document safe. Consider purchasing a home safe or renting
a safe deposit box. Some essential items in your
financial disaster recovery kit are:
license/divorce papers and child custody papers.
and driver's licenses
papers and residency documents
in the event ATM or bank services are disrupted
for stocks, bonds, and other investments
list of phone numbers for financial institutions and
credit card companies where you have accounts
inventory of your household possessions
of valuable jewelry, art, antiques, and heirlooms
backup of critical files on your computer (also keep a
copy at work)
list of names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of
critical personal and business contacts
titles, and other ownership records for property such
as homes, autos, RVs, and boats
of attorney, including health-care powers of
or trust documents
Else Should I Know?
Information on the Web
1 | page
2 | page
3 | page
4 | page
5 | page
7 | page
8 | page
9 | page
10 | page
11 | page