"Drop, Cover, and Hold On" is the 60-second drill for October 17 at 10:17 a.m. for the annual Great California ShakeOut. Drop to the ground, cover your head, and hold on to the furniture.
That's where your earthquake survival action plan comes in.
Let's make a written one now to post on your refrigerator. If you can grab this plan after a quake and before leaving the building once the shaking stops, it will increase your peace of mind to know what steps to take.
Do you smell or hear gas? Turn off the gas outside.
Do you smell fire? Call the fire department. If it's small, the size of a trash can burning, use the fire extinguisher.
Take a roll call. Is everyone out of the building?
Do not go back into the building except as necessary; aftershocks, or the main shock, could still be ahead.
What is the central meeting place outside for your co-workers or family? Go there now.
Did you a radio in your car with batteries? All stations should be on the emergency broadcast system for immediate information.
Set up camp outside. It may be awhile before anything can be done. People are gathering, waiting for more information. Find out if there's a doctor in the group. Find out who needs help. Find out who knows CPR and First Aid. Tend to the injured.
Start assigning roles to the adults gathering. Some can watch the children. Another can be a scout to the main street to watch for news being issued by emergency vehicles.
Gather your accessible supplies of food and water. The more you have on hand, the more you'll be expected to share.
Sit down as a group and make an action plan together about how to live in the next week, if emergency response is slow, if aftershocks make going back into the building unsafe, if damage is too great to be livable.
Expect to camp in your neighborhood for up to two weeks, depending on news or not of local evacuation centers set up. Work as a group.
If cell phones are not working, use a landline to report your welfare into the out-of-state number family members know to call to check on you. Write that number at the top of this action plan.
Add your own notes depending on your unique situations.