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Preparing for an Earthquake: 7 Tips

By Edited Jul 5, 2015 2 10

Almost Perfect

California U.S. Map
California has long been a popular destination for vacationers seeking the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, the majestic mountains, and the near perfect weather.   There is something for everyone in California, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Hollywood and Vine and beyond.  Perhaps you’ve thought about visiting the Golden State, it's almost perfect!

I said, almost because there is one fact about California that you will not find in the tourist guides, the earthquakes.  As a native Californian, I've lived through my share of earthquakes. I’ve learned to be prepared; the first few days following an earthquake are crucial and can be extremely difficult.

Being prepared for an earthquake is just as crucial as surviving the quake.  You may not have access to electricity and gas, or the ability to purchase food or water for a few hours to a few days, or longer!

Scientists have not found a way to predict with accuracy when and where an earthquake will occur, and therefore everyone must be prepared!  Here are seven tips to help you prepare for an earthquake or other natural disasters.

Preparing for an Earthquake: 7 Tips

Credit: Pixabay.com by geralt


Have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable foods.  Keep canned and dehydrated meals, along with dried cereals, dried fruits and powdered milk.  Once a year, check the expiration dates and replace as necessary.  Remember to store food for infants and others with special dietary needs.  Keep a manual can opener with your canned food.

Tin Cans


H2O - Water
Credit: DebW07 - All Rights Reserved

Keep a minimum of 3 gallons per person in airtight containers.

First Aid

First Aid
Credit: Hans

Have a well-stocked first-aid kit.


Credit: pcnetcomtp

Keep a flashlight and spare batteries in your nightstand. Keep other flashlights throughout your home and garage.


Credit: Wikilmages

Have a battery-operated radio or TV and a car-based charger for your cell phone.

Fire Extinguishers

Credit: PublicDomainPictures

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher that can be used to put out any small fires.  Class A Fire Extinguisher: Puts out fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood and paper.  Class B Fire Extinguisher: Should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, etc.  Class C Fire Extinguisher: Can be used on electrically energized fires.


  • Gloves (with leather palms)
  • Waterproof Poncho
  • Duct Tape
  • Tool Kit
  • Dust Mask
  • Pocketknife
  • Cash

Hopefully, you will never have to use these items.  However, in the event that you do experience an earthquake or other natural disaster, you will have the essentials to help you and your family get through those crucial first few days that follow.  Be prepared!

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May 12, 2010 2:20pm
Wow, this is awesome. I've never been through an Earthquake, but these tips can be used for other types of natural disasters as well. Great Piece.
May 12, 2010 5:14pm
Thanks crsenter; I appreciate your comments!
May 29, 2010 8:14pm
You gotta move to California crsenter and experience it. It can be a lot of fun as long no one gets hurt and nothing breaks. I felt the Baja earthquake, Introspective. Wow, that was a long one.
May 29, 2010 11:15pm
I remember that one. The worst one for me was the one in '94, I had an 18 month-old and I was 5 months pregnant!
May 30, 2010 6:13pm
Wow. That must've been scary for you.
May 31, 2010 1:20am
Hi freedomw; Yea, it was a bit scary, but I had my husband and a group of really good friends around to help out. Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them!
Jul 20, 2010 5:57am
Thankfully earthquakes are so mild we don't even notice them here in the UK. We did have one a couple of years ago that shook our home and a few roof tiles fell here and there around the country and that was considered a 'biggie' by our standards. As crsenter stated, your practicle tips though could be put to use for many other kinds of 'emergencies'. Great advice, thank you.
Jul 20, 2010 1:52pm
Hi Tally-Ho, An earthquake can be a frightening experience, hope that the one you called a 'biggie' is the last one you will ever have to go through. Thank you for the comment.
Aug 5, 2011 6:31pm
I was on holiday in South America when a 6.2 earthquake hit the city where I was; it was really scary. I am glad we don 19t have them in London
Apr 7, 2012 10:35pm
Thank you for the comment danmont.
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