Action Plan

Chrome 2001
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
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Harvard Medical School
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001

Action Plan

Healthy Lifestyle
Action Plan
Action Plan
Because earthquakes occur without warning, it is important that every family member, caregiver and babysitter know well in advance what to do in case of an earthquake.
InteliHealth Content

InteliHealth Content



Action Plan
Before an Earthquake
Because earthquakes occur without warning, it is important that every family member, caregiver and babysitter know well in advance what to do in case of an earthquake.
  • Find out your risk from an earthquake by contacting your local emergency management agency or American Red Cross chapter.
  • Put together a Family Disaster Plan. It is important to review the plan often so that all family members, including children, understand it and know what to do in case of an earthquake.
  • Put together a Disaster Supplies Kit for your home and a smaller one for your car.
  • Identify safe places in each room of your home to go to when an earthquake begins. People are often injured when they try to move too far during the shaking. Having a safe place chosen in each room eliminates the need to try to get to a different room. Safe places should be away from windows, mirrors and areas where things may fall, such as near bookcases.
  • Check for hazards before an earthquake occurs. Most people are not injured by the movement of the ground but by objects that fall or fly through the air.
    • Brace tall furniture, bookcases and hot water heaters to the wall.
    • Do not place beds or cribs near windows.
    • Do not hang large paintings or mirrors above beds, cribs, couches, etc.
  • Place heavy or breakable objects and hazardous materials such as pesticides on bottom shelves of cabinets.
  • Keep a pair of sturdy shoes and a flashlight by your bed.
  • Remove damaged and dead limbs from trees and bushes.
  • Earthquakes can cause fires. Install smoke alarms on each level of your home and test them monthly. Change batteries at least once a year. Learn how to use an ABC-type fire extinguisher and make sure it remains charged.
  • Learn how to shut off your electricity and water supply. Learn to shut off the gas, but remember that once it is turned off, it can only be turned back on by a professional.
  • Practice 'Drop, Cover and Hold' in each safe place at least twice a year.
    • Drop under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk or table.
    • Cover your face with your arm to protect yourself.
    • Hold on until the shaking stops.
  • Find out the disaster plan in your workplace and in your child's school.
  • Inventory the items in your home for insurance purposes.

During an Earthquake

It is important to remember that more injuries occur when people try to move around during the shaking. It is especially hazardous to run outside during an earthquake.
  • If you are indoors, go to the safe place and drop, cover and hold. If you are in bed, stay there and place a pillow over your head for protection.
  • If you are outside, find a place that is away from trees, buildings, poles, power lines, etc., and get on the ground. Protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • If you are in a motor vehicle, pull over, away from trees, power lines, etc., if possible, and sit with your seat belt fastened.
  • If you are in a coastal area, move to higher ground.
  • Be on the lookout for falling rocks and debris.
  • Stay away from windows and mirrors, which may shatter.

After an Earthquake

  • Expect aftershocks.
  • Stay where you are until the shaking stops.
  • Check yourself for injuries. Help others who may be injured (only move those who may be further injured).
  • Wear sturdy shoes.
  • Watch for broken glass, debris, spills and downed power lines.
  • Clean up spilled hazardous or flammable materials immediately.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. They may be damaged further by aftershocks.
  • If it is safe to reenter your home, inspect for damage to the electrical, gas, sewage and water systems.
    • If there are sparks or broken wires, turn off the electricity (unless you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker).
    • If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, open a window and leave the building. If possible, turn off the gas from the main valve outside and call the gas company. The gas can only be turned back on by a professional.
    • If you think there is sewage damage, avoid using the toilet.
    • If you suspect water system damage, avoid using water from the tap.
  • Use the telephone for life-threatening emergencies only.
  • Listen to emergency information and instructions on a battery-powered radio or television.
  • Use a flashlight and not candles, which can ignite flammable materials.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. Do not attempt to drive, walk or swim through a flooded area.
  • Do not use the water for drinking, cooking or personal hygiene until the proper authorities say that it is safe to do so. If you have a well that was flooded, have it pumped out and tested for purity before using it.
  • Watch for fires that may be caused by earthquake damage.
  • Stay away from fallen electrical lines.


Last updated October 04, 2013

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