How to Handle the Aftermath of an Earthquake

What to Do After an Earthquake

In the aftermath of an earthquake, it’s understandable to feel panicked and hopeless. Buildings may be damaged, people can be hurt, and services can be affected. While many earthquakes are scary themselves, people often forget about the dangers and must-dos once the ground has stopped shaking. These measures can help to keep you and your family safe.

Check Your Property

Earthquakes may cause structural and utility damage to a home. If you think something looks structurally unsafe, evacuate everyone in the building. Once outside, you may need to survey the area for additional hazards, and be mindful that aftershocks can cause further damage and more hazards. If you are smelling gas, or hear a hissing sound, turn off the gas immediately at the shut off valve, adjacent to your home.

Turn on the Radio

Listen for news in any way that you can. This is important due to the fact you need to be aware of the situation at hand. If there is a tsunami warning or evacuation orders from the government, you need to be kept in the know, and always know your escape routes out of the area.

Collect Clean Water

After a disaster, clean drinking water becomes a rare and precious find. If the earthquake has affected water lines, refrain from drinking tap water. To keep hydrated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you can get drinking water from the following sources in your home (but only if it is safe to go inside):

  • Melted ice cubes
  • Fluids from canned fruits and vegetables
  • The water heater faucet
  • Water from the tank of the toilet, as long as it’s not chemically treated

Grab Your Emergency “Go Bag”

Having an emergency Go Bag is important for surviving after any disaster. Preparing a bag with prescriptions, food, water, first aid kit, and other helpful supplies like a flashlight and batteries, can actually save a life. For ideas of what to pack and how often to review the contents, go to which will provide you with helpful planning materials.

Expect Aftershocks

The initial earthquake might seem to be over, but aftershocks can occur at any time afterward, from hours to days to even weeks later. It’s important to remain safe and have a plan in place in case of aftershocks. This is also a reason to get any damaged and dangerous parts of the building taken care of as soon as possible.

Areas in California can suffer from earthquakes. Having an earthquake plan will reassure you that you needn’t stress about future incidents, as you’ll know what to do if they occur. Contact the team at Lou Aggetta Insurance Services in Pleasant Hill for reliable insurance policies.