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What To Do At Home

posted Nov 14, 2009, 8:13 PM by Santa Clara County Emergency Information
(Cupertino Office of Emergency Services)

A strong earthquake has hit the area. Please stay off the telephone unless you have a life threatening emergency.

If you are at home, here are the first steps your should take:
  • Check on your family members. You will find first aid instructions in the front pages of your telephone directory.
  • Use a fire extinguisher to put out small fires. Do not use water on electrical or gas fires. If you cannot put the fire out quickly, get everyone out of the building right away.
  • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas, open the windows and move everyone outside.
  • Inspect your home's foundation, walls, and chimneys. Look and listen for any signs of possible collapse.
Additional steps:
  • Even though the earthquake shaking may have stopped, there is still a risk of strong aftershocks.
  • If you are safe where you are, your best bet is to stay put. Help the people around you... your family, neighbors and coworkers. 
  • Read the first aid and safety tips in the front of your telephone directory. 
  • Clean up flammable liquids and other hazardous materials. Keep an eye out for fire.
  • Avoid flushing toilets until sewer lines have been checked.
  • If you must move from where you are now, leave a note on the front door to let family and emergency workers know where you have gone.
If the earthquake has damaged your neighborhood, here are some things you should remember to do:
  • Stay calm and in touch with the people around you.
  • Stay off the streets so emergency crews can get through.
  • Put on sturdy shoes to avoid injury from fallen objects.
  • Check for gas leaks. Don't turn off your gas at the meter unless you actually smell gas, hear hissing or smell smoke.
  • If you do turn your gas off, don't turn it back on again. Contact PG&E for service.
  • Avoid using matches, lighters, or candles until you're sure there are no gas leaks. Candles are not recommended for use after earthquakes due to aftershocks.
  • Conserve water. Store water in a bathtub or large container and sterilize water that wasn't bottled before using it.
  • Clean up broken glass, medicines, and flammable liquids.
  • Prepare for aftershocks.
  • Every hour or so, take a few moments to rest and think about what you are going to do next.
  • Check the Survival Guide in the front of your telephone directory for additional information.