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"Prepare. Respond. Recover. It's time to get Ready LA" - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
 Ready to shake things up? Well, you should always be prepared because itís a way of life for those who live, work and play in Los Angeles. The numerous fault systems running throughout the area make it susceptible to earthquakes of all types and sizes. Many of the buildings have been retrofitted to withstand severe movement, but you could still face many hazards and dangers when the shaking starts. Sure, your heartís racing and your mindís a blur, but just relax, think clearly and calmly, and learn to understand the threat youíre facing.


Earth shaking facts
Cracked road
  • Southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes each year, though most are so small that they are never felt.
  • Of those, 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0.
  • Large earthquakes create an aftershock sequence that can produce many additional earthquakes of all magnitudes for many months.
  • Earthquakes can occur in any type of weather - cold, hot, rainy or dry. There is no such thing as “earthquake weather.” so earthquake preparedness should be 24/7.
  • The San Andreas Fault is not a single, continuous fault, but rather a fault zone consisting of many different segments. Its fault system is more than 800 miles long.
  • Most earthquakes occur at depths of less than 50 miles below the Earth’s surface.
  • Only four states Florida, Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin have not had earthquakes in the past 30 years.
  • Alaska is the most earthquake-prone state, with a magnitude 7 quake or greater occurring nearly every year.
For oyur indoor safety
Damaged stairs
It’s really rocking now… loose objects may even be flying… but stay calm and remember the following tips.

  • Move to the floor against an interior wall or under a desk or chair and shield your head and neck with your arms until the shaking stops. Drop, cover and hold on!
  • Stay clear of windows, mirrors, hanging objects, tall furniture, large appliances, bookcases and cabinets where heavy objects are stored.
  • Always keep shoes near your bed so you can put them on during an earthquake to avoid stepping on broken glass and other objects.
  • Keep a flashlight in an easily accessible location near your bed because you could very possibly lose electric power and it is dangerous to grope around in the dark.
  • If in a high-rise building, avoid glass walls or windows, protect your head with your arms and watch out for falling ceiling tiles. Drop, cover and hold on!
  • Do not use any elevator or run for the exits.
  • Contrary to popular belief, a doorway is not the safest place to be during the shaking. It is one of the weaker structures in the house, and there may also be a nearby swinging door that could hit you.
For your outdoor safety
Damaged lot
You may not be in a shaking building, but many dangers also exist outdoors during an earthquake, so keep that clear head and remember your earthquake preparedness plan.

  • Move quickly to a clear area, away from trees, signs, buildings or electrical poles and wires.
  • If possible, move quickly into a doorway to avoid falling bricks, glass and other debris.
  • On the beach, go to higher ground since earthquakes can cause tsunamis.
  • If driving a vehicle, pull to the side of the road and stop, making sure there are no overhead hazards such as power lines or freeway overpasses above you. Do not get out of your car during the shaking.
After the shaking stops
Damaged Building
Whew! It’s over for the moment. Now that the shaking has subsided, this is an important time for common sense.

  • Check your surroundings for dangerous conditions like fires, structural damage or live power lines.
  • Tend to any injured persons, but do not move seriously injured people unless a dangerous situation exists.
  • Turn off the gas if you smell it in the air.
  • Put out small fires if you know how to extinguish them.
  • Check all phones, as some may have been knocked off the hook by the shaking.
  • Inspect any damage in your home.
Trapped in debris
Trapped... the very word makes your blood pressure rise. But if you have been trapped by a particularly bad earthquake, don't panic... most likely, help will be on the way.

  • Move as little as possible so you don't loosen any large, heavy objects or stir up dust.
  • Tap on a wall, pipe or other hard object to attract rescuers… shout only as a last resort.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with any available cloth to avoid inhaling dust.

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