Earthquakes are rather common out here in California. There is no way to prevent, or even completely prepare for an earthquake. However there are some things you can do in advance to minimize the damage caused by an earthquake.
- Have an earthquake plan in place. Designate who will turn off the utilities after a quake, and where everyone will meet up.
- Keep heavier items on lower shelves rather than on higher ones. This will minimize the chance of something falling on someone.
- Secure all high heavy furniture to a wall, be sure to secure it into a stud in the wall. Falling furniture is a big danger to personal safety in an earthquake.
- Install child safe latches on your cupboards to minimize falling objects.
- Ensure that any hanging plants or light fixtures are secure.
- Keep a set of tools handy for turning off the utilities after the quake.
- Prepare a 72 hour emergency kit for each person in the household. After a major disaster help may take some time to get to you. You should be prepared to survive at least 72 hours on your own. This means food, water, and medical supplies should be available to each household member for at least 72 hours.
FEMA: Earthquake Safety