Household Plan and Drill Tips

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Whether you  live alone, with roommates, with a partner, or with children, having a plan (and understanding it!) means you’ll know what to do and where to go in case of an emergency. Practicing your plan (i.e., doing a drill) helps family members become even more physically and mentally prepared.

Each family plan will be different. But all family plans should include:

  • Places in each room to seek shelter during an earthquake. Note: Seismic experts no longer recommend standing in doorways. Instead, they advise people to “duck, cover, and hold.” Be sure each family member understands how to do this in different kinds of situations.
  • Places that are not safe to hide near as well, such as near windows, mirrors, or by things that could fall.
  • Some discussion of how long to stay put and how your family will know it is safe to move to a better location.
  • A safe place you will meet in your yard or just outside your home. That place should be away from trees, light posts, utility lines,  and buildings.
  • In addition, you should identify a safe place away from your home, such as a park, sports field, or local school. That way, if your own home has collapsed or the environment is otherwise unsafe, you know where to find each other.
  • A contact person outside the area.

Running the drill is is the best way to prepare for the event of an actual earthquake.

  • Call a time to duck, hold, and cover wherever your family members may be.
  • End the drill, and then grab your go bags and meet outside.  
  • You can also make a trip to where you would meet with your family outside of the neighborhood so that everyone know which spot it is and how to get there.
  • Note any logistical challenges you encountered and amend your plan if need be.

For more information, please see:

Earthquake Country Alliance: What to do in an earthquake Earthquakes