In the months leading up to an earthquake you need to be prepared! If you are near the California fault line, you need to be very familiar with earthquake safety and earthquake disaster plans. You need to know where your house is located so that you can seek out shelter. If you have family members or friends who live in buildings that are considered high-risk, you should have them evacuate immediately if possible. Do not wait for an earthquake to hit your home; take steps today to make sure your house is earthquake-proof!

Being prepared for the future of natural disasters like earthquakes, means being able to identify problems and taking steps to make them smaller, less severe and less deadly. There are things you can do today to lessen the chances of a devastating earthquake striking your home. Here are some tips.

Make sure your home is as earthquake-proof as possible. You do not want to be caught off guard on a Saturday night or Sunday morning, when a large earthquake has been reported just feet away from your home. Some states and local governments offer special incentives for home owners who take their development plan seriously. These programs include paying for complete structural engineers to come out and evaluate your building before purchase. Make sure you check with your local authorities and your mortgage company about any current or future requirements about building and earthquake preparedness. You should also make sure your home meets all current building codes.

The National Earthquake Safety Program is a voluntary organization that was created by the National Academy of Sciences. This organization offers a wide variety of tools and advice for both individuals and businesses in providing earthquake preparedness. Contact your local Academy of Sciences office for further information about the program and how you can help reduce the risk of an earthquake striking your home.

Do not get inebriated before visiting a quake-damaged area. Studies show that people become more earthquake prone after consuming alcohol. That’s why it’s not recommended that you drink alcohol before visiting areas of high seismic activity. Make sure that you visit your doctor for any health issues that might be caused by your lifestyle (e.g., smoking) before going to see an earthquake-damaged area. Even if you have to cancel plans because of school or travel disruptions, don’t worry; there are plenty of other ways to keep safe.

If you own a boat, be sure that you take it out on weekends – and every day of the week – to avoid having your home ripped apart by an approaching earthquake. If you have small children in the house, make sure that you keep them away from the ocean or open water. Also, if you own a sailboat or skis, take these along with you and never leave them on shore especially not for more than a few hours at a time. Be sure to take along some form of emergency food and water; and if you are at all unable to provide this, find a friend or family member who can – or who will – come along with you into the water.

For those who are not able to evacuate their homes during an earthquake, be aware of where your family is and start prepping early. Open the doors and windows if you can, and if possible open up the basements. Have a plan for when you will go to each location, and what you will do if an earthquake should occur. Remember, the higher up a building is, the harder it is for the ground to move.

The most important thing about earthquake preparedness is being safe. Do not take this for granted – your family’s safety is extremely important. Don’t wait for an earthquake to hit before you’ve done all you can; in fact, it is better to be late than sorry. If you are properly prepared for an earthquake, the fewer injuries you will have in the event of one.

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