SAN DIEGO — Federal officials are using Thursday and Friday's earthquakes as reminders to Californians of the importance of having an earthquake preparedness plan.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency says a plan should include:

  • Dropping down and taking cover under a desk or table, preparing to hold on until the shaking stops.
  • Staying inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to exit.
  • Staying away from bookcases and other furniture that can fall on you.
  • Staying away from windows and light fixtures.
  • Making sure all family members know when and how to contact 9-1-1.
  • Sketching a floor plan of your home while walking through each room and discussing evacuation details.
  • Planning a second way to exit each room or area. If special equipment is needed, mark where it is located.
  • Marking where your emergency food, water, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers are located.
  • Storing a type-ABC fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location.
  • Marking where the utility switches or valves are located, and learn how to turn off your gas and water mains, as well as electricity.
  • Indicating the location of your family's emergency outdoor meeting place.
  • Keeping several flashlights in easily accessible places around the house.
  • Keeping a wrench or turn-off tool in waterproof wrap near the gas meter.
  • Keeping your vehicle gas tank at least half full.
  • Determining safe spaces away from windows in each room of your home.
  • Preparing a disaster kit, stocking up on canned food, a first-aid kit and having three gallons of water per person, dust masks, goggles, battery-operated radio and flashlights.

Emergency supply kits should contain the addresses, phone numbers and evacuation sites for each place where family members spend time, including schools, workplaces, etc. Have family members carry a copy of this list, or contact card, in their wallets, purses or backpacks.

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You may have to care for injured people or pets after an earthquake.

First aid and CPR training can help with this. Contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to become certified.

After an earthquake, your family could be ordered to evacuate a damaged area. If you have pets, find out where you could shelter them if you should have to evacuate.

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