Preparing For An Earthquake

RENO, NV - At Washoe County's Emergency Operations Center, the room is ready and waiting for the next disaster.

Places are set aside for the men and women who will help coordinate response and recovery.

In one way this room should be like your home---prepared for *when* the next earthquake hits...not *if*.

“The actions we take before the earthquake can help us during the earthquake,” says Aaron Kenneston, Washoe County Emergency Manager.

Kenneston says you and your family can even make a game of it---looking for potential hazards in your home and correcting them.

Properly bracing things like hot water heaters, securely fastening frames and mirrors.

Consider putting child safety latches on cabinet doors so they don't easily open and spill their contents.

Know where and how to shut off gas and even electricity. That includes main switches and valves.

Remember if it's gas, you'll have to have the utility company turn it back on.

During an earthquake, stay calm and take cover under a heavy desk or table.

A second option: get under a doorway along an inside wall away from windows.

Once the earthquake is not run outside immediately.

“Because there are more hazards from things falling off buildings outside than there are inside,” says Kenneston.

Check inside your home for damage and danger, smell for gas leaks, inspect your chimney, and keep telephone use down, as emergency personnel will need lines for communication open, and you should open doors and cabinets cautiously.

You may also want to think about a preparedness kit that has water, non-perishable food for both you and your animals. Medications, flashlights, a battery-operated radio—among other things.

You'll need enough to last you 72 hours.