ConsumerWatch: How Ready Are You For A Big Quake?

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Is it “stop, drop and roll?” Or “drop, cover and hold on?” Just how prepared are you for an earthquake?

Over 60 percent of Californians are not prepared for a large-scale earthquake, according to the California Earthquake Preparedness Survey.

The 4.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Monday at 5:30 a.m. was centered in the East Bay.

Dr. David Schwartz an earthquake geologist with USGS said, “This is a reminder to people living in the Bay Area…that we will have larger earthquakes down the road. And people really should be serious about preparing [for] when that happens.”


An Earthquake Kit Should Contain: a minimum of three days worth of food which entails water (1 gallon per person per day) clothing and good shoes, first aid kit and medications, flashlights, Battery-operated or crank radios, essential tools and maps, cash in small bundles and emergency contact information. It is also recommended that you have 2 kits, one at home and one in the car.

It’s also important to know what to do when an earthquake hits. Trying to leave the building puts you at greater risk of injury. Most earthquake injuries are sustained when people try to move during the shaking or from falling debris once outside.

Find out how much you know about earthquake readiness at One interactive site asks you to select items and reinforce them in the best way possible The American Red Cross also has an interactive disaster preparedness quiz.

If you did horribly on the quizzes don’t sweat it, here are some links on earthquake readiness.

SF Neighborhood Emergency Response Team Training

Bay Area Red Cross

USGS Earthquake Tips

PG&E Safety Tips

You may also want to tell the USGS if you feel a quake or Learn how to find an emergency payphone near you.

If you think you have a gas leak, evacuate and call PG&E or 9-1-1. Do not use electrical switches, appliances, telephones or any flame because sparks can ignite gas. Here’s a link on shutting of your gas.

In the case of an earthquake or disaster listen to the Radio, Bay Area residents can tune into KCBS Radio 740 AM. Follow instructions from local officials and evacuate if told to do so.

It’s also important that you get familiar with your local emergency response teams. Contact your local fire department for information on these groups.

There are also stores that sell earthquake ready kits that range in price from $30.00 to $300.00 dollars. Here are a few of them; Red Cross Bay Area Chapter Book Store in Berkley, The Earthquake Store in Emeryville, Earthquake Supply Center in San Rafael, Earth Shakes in Burlingame, Quake-Kare Inc in Sherman Oaks and online.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Julie Watts
  • Dinah Sanders

    You can get that free preparedness training in San Francisco from the Fire Department’s NERT program

    Other cities have similar programs.

  • P

    If possible have more than 3 days supply of water/person. If you live in a single family home and have space somewhere on your property consider something like the short outdoor storage benches – you can place one gallon containers of water (i.e. crystal geyser with handles- reg on sale for ~$1/each) on the bottom and store food & clothes on the top of these – since water is heavy and somewhat unstable if you stack it. Also, these outdoor storage benches frequently have a spot for a lock if you need it. We decided a 2 weeks supply was more reasonable…so for a family of 3 that is 42 gallons.

    We also splurged and purchased a PETT toilet (& a tent for it) – I know it sounds ridiculous but after watching people line up to use a public toilet after various disasters…I don’t think so, we know too much microbiology.

    Don’t forget to rotate your food supply – watch expiration dates. I was surprised to find out that smoked salmon in vacuum-packed, foil pouches can last 5 years…you don’t have to limit yourself – there are more interesting shelf-stable food items out there now.

    Encourage all your neighbors to be prepared – we discuss different aspects of preparedness during our quarterly neighborhood watch meetings.

    Your preparedness kit will also be helpful if there is ever a health-type outbreak or pandemic. And, don’t forget…we have been receiving warnings that we could have flooding similar to what happened in 1862? iin California – The ArkStorm Scenario. –

    And, yes…we live in El Cerrito, near the Hayward Fault and did read the article on the SF Gate about earthquake clusters in the area.

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