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Are you Earthquake ready? Here are some simple & important tips to improve your readiness

As Californians we are generally eternal optimists and that's what most of us love about living in this wonderful state. Unfortunately, optimism, sunshine and a healthy lifestyle doesn't stop nature from doing what she wants to do. According to the experts, the question is not "what if we have a large scale earthquake in LA?" but "when?" and last week's 6.4 and 7.1 tumblers were kinder reminder for us Angelinos but a lot less kind for the residents of Ridgecrest, Calif .

So let's be smart about this inevitable upcoming issue by taking some preventative measures that can protect lives and properties:

  • Make sure your home’s foundation has been properly retrofitted for earthquake safety.

  • Ensure that the water heater (tank) is properly strapped.

  • Know the location of and how to operate each of the main utility services; obtain any tools needed to do so.

  • Secure tall and heavy furnishings or decor, such as bookcases and TVs, so they won’t topple over.

  • Store breakable and heavy objects on lower shelves and cabinets.

  • Install latches on upper cabinet doors to keep them from swinging open spilling items out.

  • Know the safe spots in each room away from swinging doors and glass windows.

  • Keep a pair of sturdy (and/or steel toe) shoes next to your bed.

  • Have a secondary exit from upper floors, in case the staircase is blocked, damaged or burning.

  • Secure items in the garage that could fall and block or damage the vehicles.

  • Create a Disaster Plan with a designated meeting place outside the residence.

  • Drill all aspects of the plan so it can be executed in the dark and under stress.

  • If you are a renter, ask your landlord to confirm that everything is up to date in compliance with earthquake regulations.

Create a disaster kit with the following items included:

  1. Enough water for all people for a week

  2. Emergency cash

  3. A flashlight and new batteries

  4. An operable fire extinguisher (that you know how to use and have tested yourself)

  5. A battery-operated radio that works

  6. A first-aid kit with medical supplies

  7. Any personal medicines needed

  8. Freeze dried, canned (with can-opener) and dried foods (no cooking required) for all people and pets to last a few days

  9. Tools needed to operate the main utilities.


  • A typical water heater tank is a source of 40 or more gallons of clean water. There’s a hose bib at the bottom of the tank to drain the water as needed.

  • Maintain a minimum of a half tank of gas in vehicles in case of emergency.

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