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Earthquake Outline


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Outline for Earthquake preparedness


1. Earthquakes

a. What they are

b. Where they occur

c. Earthquake scale

d. Types of Earthquakes

e. Why you should prepare


2. Earthquake Plan

a. Personal

b. Family Home and away

c. Business


3. Preparing your home

a. Turning off the gas

b. Securing items to the wall- hot water heater, heavy furniture etc.

c. Earthquake preparedness kit, First aid kit

d. First aid kit

e. Insurance needs

f. Does your home need reinforcement?


4. Earthquake drill


a. What to do in an earthquake at home

b. What to do in an earthqake at work

c. What to do in an earthqake in your car

d. Getting to your meeting place if you are away

e. Communication


5. Clean up and the aftermath

a. Short term

b. Long term



Just off the top of my head, feel free to make suggestions!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am about 3/4 done, still working on it. Here's what I have now, still VERY rough and needs fact checking and editing.




Earthquakes happen when the earth’s crust shifts along a fault. They are measured using a Earthquake Magnitude scale called the Richter scale. Earhtquakes with a magnitude under 6 cause minor damage. Each whole number the magnitude goes up the earthquake is 10 times the magnitude. Earthquakes occur most often in the ocean, along plate lines and along faults. They occur all over the planet. Certain areas are more active like the pacific ring of fire.


There are several different ways earthquakes occur. The most common is in a subduction zone, which is where 2 continental plates meet, and one is being subducted under the other. The other kinds are a normal fault where one plate is moving down or pulling apart, a strike slip fault moving opposite directions like the San Andreas Fault, and a reverse fault where 2 plates are moving together but one isn’t subducting like the fault that made the Himalyas. The result of a reverse fault is often a mountain range!


In an earthquake over 6.0 the damage caused can make life very difficult due to power outages and disruption of services like water, gas and electric. Not to mention downed power lines, collapsed buildings and bridges, and debris being a danger. Every family no matter what they feel the risk for earthquakes are in their area should have a plan and preparations on hand to be able to take care of their family for at least 72 hrs in case of an earthquake. If you live in an active earthquake zone, you should prepare for 1-2 wks. In addition there are ways to help make your home safer from damage such as securing your hot water tank with an earthquake strap.


Earthquake planning-

First assess your risk- research the faults near you and know what the likelihood of an earthquake over 6.0 is in your area. There are areas in the country which have had large earthquakes but not in recent memory such as the New Madrid Fault which runs through the Ohio Valley and on the Missisippi. In _____ it had an earthquake so powerful it reversed the flow of the Missisppi rivier and rung church _____ miles away!!


Next if you live in an area known for earthquake activity look over your home. You’re your insurance policy cover earthquakes or do you need separate earthquake ins? Are there furniture pieces that need to be secured to the wall? In my bedroom we have a bookcase wall near our beds that in an earthquake could tip over and crush my DH if they weren’t secured to the wall. Do you have any pictures over your bed- remove them because they could fall on you. How about your water heater? Does it have an earthquake strap? Without one in an earthquake it could tip over and cause water damage, or even cause a fire if you have a gas water heater. Such an inexpensive fix could save your life and your home! Does your home have earthquake reinforcement. Make sure your home is secured properly to the foundation.


After you have assessed the things you can do to secure your home it’s time to put together an emergency kit. See the section on food and water, and first aid. Some other things to have on hand specifically for the aftermath of an earthquake-


1. A communication plan to contact immediate family members aif away from home, and reach your out of state family contact person,

2. A meeting place if you are away from home.

3. A Bag packed with an emergency kit at home, and one for your car. Have a separate bag for each family member, and a mini kit for each child in their school backpack.

4. A home kit with heavy gloves, wrench to turn off the gas, flashlight, extra batteries, radio with batteries or even better a hand cranked radio, shovel, saw, goggles, dust mask, work clothes and work boots for adult family members. Good solid boots for the kids and appropriate winter gear if needed. Hats winter/summer sunscreen, bug repellant and sunglasses in the summer. Keep this kit in a shed outside the house, at your meeting spot, or in your vehicle. Adults should keep a good pair of sturdy shoes and gloves in their car at all time as well as a flat of bottled water.

5. Copies of all important documents on paper, ID’s, credit cards, etc. Also a CD of all photos and documents in your Bag sealed in a Ziploc bag to protect from water damage.


If you have a business you will want a plan to take care of your employees, and an emergency kit at your place of business as well. Make sure your insurance policy covers you adequately for earthquake damage, or secure a supplemental policy.



How to turn off the gas:

First you should know where the shut off valve is before an emergency and secure a wrench to the location in case of an emergency. This way the tool will be there when you need it!


2. Find the shut off valve, and turn it ¼ turn so it looks like { I ) to ( - ) or ( - ) to ( I ).



Before an earthquake it is a good idea to hold a drill with your family and practice what you would do. If it is during the day, get outside as long as there isn’t any tall buildings near your home that might cause falling debris. If you are in bed during an earthquake the safest thing for you to do is to get on the floor right near your bed. Any falling debris will form an air pocket around you. Do NOT stand in a doorframe. If the ceiling collapses you will be crushed in the doorway. Instead get next to a heavy piece of furniture, not under it and there is a higher likelihood it will support the debris and form an air pocket around you. Cover your head with your pillow and blanket to cushion you from any debris. Cover your mouth if possible in case there is dust which could damage your lungs. If you keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight under your bed they will be there when the earthquake stops. If it happens in the middle of the night you will have the means to protect your feet. Once the earthquake stops go outside your house. It is much safer to be outside in an open area if possible.


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  • 1 month later...

Becca Anne, this is super stuff. I have been reading the posts trying to catch up and find that I'm learning so much just from the posts. I can't imagine how awesome it will be to have it all together in manual form. I'm so excited about it. Thanks for all the work you did on this.



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