How should I prepare for the next earthquake?
There are a number of specific things that everyone should do to prepare for the next inevitable earthquake. A number of excellent pamphlets are available from the San Carlos Police Department and the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, PG&E, the San Carlos Library, and several other sources. A short, essential list of things you should do includes the following:
- Know how to turn off the gas, electricity, and water to your home.
- Make sure your water heater is strapped to the wall.
- Don't hang heavy pictures or mirrors over beds.
- Secure tall, heavy furniture that could fall over, such as bookcases and china cabinets. Avoid hanging plants in heavy pots. Don't place breakables and heavy objects on high shelves.
- Store flammable liquids safely--in a shed or garage, away from ignition sources.
- Consult an architect or engineer about earthquake improvements to your home.
- Have basic emergency supplies (e.g., water, canned food, first-aid kit, blankets, flashlight, portable radio, and batteries) on hand to support you, your family, and your pets for a minimum of five days (120 hours).
- Pick an out-of-town friend or relative to act as a point of contact in case family members become separated and cannot contact one another.
- The City of San Carlos has a Disaster Preparedness Liaison in the Police Department. If you would like to organize a neighborhood preparedness meeting, call the San Carlos Office of Emergency Services at (650) 802-4129.
What should I do during an earthquake?
If you are inside, stay inside. Get under a desk or table, or stand in a doorway. Stay away from windows and any other objects that might fall on you.
If you are outside, stay outside. Get into the open, away from buildings, trees, utility poles, and power lines.
If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road, stop, and stay in your car. Do not park under an overpass, under power lines, or near utility poles, trees, signs, or large buildings.