Each year, 12,000 to 14,000 earthquakes are reported; that's an average of 35 earthquakes a day! California is among the 45 states at moderate to high risk for earthquakes. When earthquakes strike a populated region, they can cause extensive property damage. Buildings and bridges can collapse, and gas, water, electric and phone service can be disrupted. Earthquakes can also cause serious injuries and fatalities. Scientists cannot predict precisely when or where one will occur. It's important to know what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

Before, During & After an Earthquake

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After

Before an Earthquake

One if the most important things you and your family can do before an earthquake is to have a plan:

  • Be prepared by creating a plan for how to reach one another.
  • Establish out-of-area contact who coordinate family members' locations and information should you become separated. Make sure children learn the phone numbers and addresses, and know the emergency plans.
  • Keep copies of important documents at the house of your out-of-area contact or keep important documents and valuables in a fireproof storage box or safe deposit box.
  • Prepare a disaster supplies kit, which includes emergency food and water for the home. Keep a smaller version in your vehicle. Families with children should have each child create their own personal pack. View the California Department of Public Health's recommendations on what to pack.
  • Know evacuation routes. Establish several different routes in case certain roads are blocked or closed.
  • Decide how to take care of pets. Pets are not allowed in places where food is served - so you will need to have a place to take your pets if you have to go to a shelter.
  • Don't run out of gas! Always run on the top half of the tank, not on the bottom half.
  • Visit other earthquake preparation sites like this one, including: Earthquake Country Alliance, SF72, Great California Shakeout, and Santa Rosa Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE).

For further tips, advice or resources contact the Santa Rosa Fire Department at 707-543-3500.