The recent official earthquake advisory expired 9am Tuesday. If you’re reading this, then the Big One probably didn’t actually hit and we’re all still on more or less steady ground. But that definitely doesn’t mean it isn’t still coming, sooner or later. Scientists are pretty much in agreement that a significant earthquake will shake Southern California in the near future, but they still lack the ability to predict seismic activity with much accuracy.
So what is an Angeleno supposed to do? Just walk around in fear, assuming any random vibration might be the end of days? Maybe just take some basic precautions to prep yourself and your home to be prepared just in case—here are some suggestions.
Stock an emergency supply kit
The rule of thumb for a really good emergency kit is that you should be able to live off the grid for three days. That means packing enough clean water, non-perishable food and medical supplies for everybody in your family. You’ll also want to put in a radio, flashlight, plenty of batteries and other supplies. For a detailed list, check out the Be Prepared California checklist.
Make sure your place is earthquake-safe
Look around your house or workplace and see what looks like it might fall in a serious shaker. Are your cabinets packed with precarious stacks of glasses and plates? Did you skip that wall-brace step when you built your Ikea bookshelf? If you don’t want it to hit your head in an earthquake, secure it right now.
Know how to react when a quake hits
Here is what you do: drop, cover, hold on. Get on the ground, seek cover under a sturdy table or other strong piece of furniture and crouch with your hands protecting your neck and head. Get away from glass windows and anything that looks like it’s about to become a projectile. Remember that, in most cases, it will be safer to stay inside.
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