17 Tips to Protect Yourself Before, During, and After an Earthquake

17 Tips to Protect Yourself Before, During, and After an Earthquake

Living in Southern California, we know that an earthquake can strike at any time. It can be easy to get complacent when earthquake warnings are common in our area, but if a strong, dangerous earthquake does happen, preparation can save lives. Here's what you need to know to keep your family prepared in case of a major earthquake:



Before an earthquake

  1. Install earthquake shut-off valves.
  2. Perform a walk-though to identify items that could fall when shaken, then secure those items.
  3. Find good places to “duck, cover, and hold” and practice it.
  4. Identify escape routes and meeting places outside your home for family members.
  5. Have and communicate your plan for your family and pets in case of emergency.



During an earthquake

  1. Indoors: Duck under a sturdy table or desk and hold on until shaking stops. Do not go outside.
  2. In bed: Stay in bed and protect your head and neck with a pillow.
  3. Outdoors: Move away from buildings, trees, power lines, and large objects that could fall.
  4. Driving: Pull over until the shaking stops, avoiding power lines, trees, or under freeway overpasses.
  5. At the Beach: Move to higher ground immediately.



After an earthquake

  1. Restrict telephone use except for family emergency needs or to report dangerous conditions.
  2. Dial 911 only if you have a life-threatening emergency.
  3. Avoid making unnecessary trips.
  4. If you must leave your home, dress in warm, loose layers with sturdy shoes, and let others know where you’re going.
  5. Do not touch any downed power lines or broken gas lines and immediately report them to us, the police, or the fire department.
  6. Do not use flames. Use flashlights, not lanterns, matches, or candles.
  7. Boil or purify drinking water.

For more information on earthquake safety in San Diego, visit readysandiego.org/earthquake.