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Earthquake Preparedness

Before the Quake

  • Review general preparation tips for info on a family plan/emergency supplies.
  • Place large/heavy objects on lower shelves and securely fasten the shelves to the wall. Remove glass bottles from medicine cabinets and the tub/shower.
  • Remove flammable liquids to the garage or preferably to an outside shed. Make sure they are stored properly.
  • Attach any top-heavy furniture to the walls with hooks, brackets or wires.
  • Install fasteners or latches to cupboard doors to keep dishes and glasses from breaking on the floor.
  • Bolt or strap water heaters and other gas appliances to stop them from tipping and breaking the gas line, which can lead to a major fire.
  • Sheath "cripple walls" in any area with open studs - you may need professional help. Fasten building frames to the foundation with bolts every three feet - again you may need professional help.
  • Tilt-up concrete buildings and unreinforced masonry buildings have special needs - you will probably need professional help to bring them up to proper seismic standards.
  • Reinforce the ceiling around chimneys to stop bricks from falling into the room.

See the approximate location of the San Andreas Fault in Pacifica to determine the shaking intensity expected in a specific area.

Earthquake Warning California 

is the country’s first publicly available, statewide warning system that could give California residents crucial seconds to take cover before you feel shaking. Managed by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Earthquake Warning California uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before humans can feel them and can notify Californians to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” in advance of an earthquake.  To receive earthquake warnings, individuals and family members can download the MyShake App and ensure phone settings are adjusted to receive emergency alerts.  For more information, follow the link https://earthquake.ca.gov/


During an Earthquake

  • Duck, cover and hold - injuries and deaths during earthquakes are caused by falling objects and collapsing structures. Knowing how to protect yourself when the shaking starts may save your life. Duck under a strong table/desk or along a wall. Cover your head and face to protect them from broken glass and falling objects. Hold onto the table or desk and be prepared to move with it. Hold your position until the shaking stops
  • Be ready for the shaking to start again at any time with aftershocks.
  • Never run outside or use stairways/elevators during the shaking. Many people are killed just outside of buildings from falling bricks or other debris.
  • If driving when an earthquake starts, move to the shoulder of the highway and away from any bridges, overpasses, power lines and large buildings.
  • If riding public transportation, such as BART, the train will typically stop. Remain calm and follow instructions.