Before

  • Learn first aid procedures

  • Learn how to shut off all utilities in your home, and have the necessary tools on hand.

  • Keep emergency items on hand, including first-aid kit, supply of important medicines, flashlight, battery-powered radio, batteries, three-day supply of water and nonperishable food, and a fire extinguisher.

  • Use bolts or straps to secure heavy items that might topple over, such as a bookcase, china cabinet, or water heater.

  • Avoid placing heavy objects on shelves or heavy pictures on walls where they could fall onto a bed.

During

  • If at home, avoid windows and objects that could fall. If possible, get under a sturdy table, desk, or bed, or stand in a doorway.

  • If in a public building, avoid stairways and elevators and don't run for exits. Get under a desk or table and avoid outside walls, especially glass walls.

  • If outside, move to an area where you will be safe from falling trees, utility poles, or debris from buildings.

  • If driving in a car, avoid bridges, underpasses, and overpasses. Safely bring the car to a stop and turn on the radio for emergency broadcasts.

After

  • Check for injuries to others and provide assistance as needed.

  • Check for and extinguish fires, and check for and correct conditions such as spilled gasoline that could lead to a fire.

  • Check appliances and gas, electric, and water lines for damage, and shut off utilities that are damaged.

  • If outside, watch out for downed power lines.

  • Use the telephone only for emergencies

  • Be prepared for aftershocks.