In the wake of our recent Southern California earthquakes and the fires endured over the past few years, we believe it is immensely important that we share our Emergency Preparation Tips from our AMC family to yours.
Check out these reputable Emergency Preparedness Packs for any size family. One of our top recommendations for family sizes up to four people would be the 4 Person 72-Hour 170 Piece Emergency Bucket Kit. They, of course, have options for smaller sized families. However, during an emergency like this, we understand this to be a “more is more” type of situation.
Let start from the beginning.
- Do you currently have an emergency plan in your home (that includes your pets)?
- If so, what types of emergencies do these plans cover (Earthquake, Fire, Flood, Power Outage, etc.)?
- Is the plan clearly demonstrated somewhere in the home?
- Has everyone been briefed on the plan in case of emergency or time efficiency?
- Do you have all the needed supplies to ensure that the plan is executed smoothly (i.e. earthquake or emergency disaster kit)?
- If you have said yes to these questions, then you have taken considerable time and thought into making sure your family is safe god forbid this type of emergency ever occur and we commend you for that.
If you said no to even one of these questions, we are glad you are here!
Things to do before something happens:
Protect your loved ones:
- Stay informed on your community’s risk and response plans.
- Check in with your family’s workplaces and schools/daycares to learn about their emergency response plans.
- Educate your family and loved ones on how to use the safe and well website.
- Have everyone with a smartphone download the Red Cross emergency app on their phone
- Designate “safe spaces” throughout your home, workplace, and/or school.
*A safe place can be found against an interior wall away from any windows/tall pieces of furniture that could potentially fall on you or under a sturdy piece of furniture.
- Practice DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON in each of these safe spaces.
- Make sure you have access to NOAA radio communications and broadcastings by finding an online NOAA radio station by searching NOAA radio in the Apple Store for iPhone or the Google Play store for Android.
- Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA radio in case of cell phone tower outages.
- Keep a flashlight and a pair of low-heeled walking shoes next to/underneath each member of the homes bed.
Protect your animals:
- Pet emergency kits can be purchased from reputable dealers as well such a Red Cross.
- Note that most hotels and even some shelters do not allow animals so PLEASE also consider where your pet will stay if evacuation from your home is necessary.
- You will want to make sure to have the following prepared:
- A sturdy leash and collar, harness or carrier for transport, pet first aid kid, food, drinking water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and a manual can opener if your pet eats canned food.
- Medications and copies of medical records should be stored in a waterproof container.
- Current photos of you with your pet in case they get lost. Since many pets look alike this will help in identifying them and eliminate any unnecessary confusion. Pet beds and toys if easily transportable.
- Consider having your pets microchipped by a veterinarian if you have not already.
Protect your home:
- Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs. Have a professional install flexible fitting to avoid gas or water leaks.
- Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for this purpose.
- Do not hang heavy items such as pictures, art, mirrors, etc. near beds or couches. The safe rule is to keep them away from any places that people may be sleeping or sitting.
- Install STRONG latches on cabinets.
- Large and heavy items should be stored closest to the floor not in a top drawer.
- Anchor any overhead lighting fixtures to joists.
- Learn about your areas seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin any new construction.
- Have a professional make sure that our home is securely anchored to the foundation as well as strengthening tips for exterior features such as porches and decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports, etc.
Staying safe indoors:
- DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON or LOCK, COVER and HOLD ON (for wheelchair or walker users)
- Try to move as little as possible – most injuries during earthquakes occur because of people moving around, falling and suffering sprains, fractures and head injuries.
- Try to protect your head and torso.
- If you are in bed, STAY THERE. Curl up and hold on, covering your head.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
- If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
- Be aware of smoke alarms and sprinkler systems frequently going off in building during an earthquake even if there is no fire.
- If you smell gas, get out of the house and move as far away as possible.
- Before you leave any building check to make sure that there is no debris from the building that could fall on you.
Staying safe outdoors:
- Find a clear spot and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops.
- Try to get as far away from buildings, powerlines, trees, and street lights as possible.
- If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses, and powerlines if possible.
- Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
- Once the shaking has stopped, drive on carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
- If a powerline falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wit for assistance.
- If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable cliffs or slopes, be alert for falling rocks and other debris as well as landslides.
Staying safe after an earthquake:
- If away from home, return only once authorities have said it is safe to do so.
- Check yourself and family members for injuries and get first aid if necessary before heling injured or trapped persons.
- After an earthquake the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for aftershocks, landslides, power outages, fires and even tsunamis if you live on the coast.
- Each time you feel an aftershock, DROP COVER AND HOLD ON or LOCK, COVER and HOLD ON(for wheelchair or walker users). Aftershocks occur frequently minutes, days, weeks and even months after the initial quake.
- Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the MOST common hazard after earthquakes.