Are you ready to ride out an earthquake? As we learned August 23, 2011, in Virginia, devastating earthquakes can happen without warning. Do you know what to do?

Safety Tips
Families and businesses should be prepared. Please read the tips below, to keep yourself and others safe:
  • Securely fasten shelves to walls.
  • Keep large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Secure your water heater by strapping it to wall studs and bolting it to the floor.
  • Keep toxic and flammable items securely stored in cabinets with doors and latches.
  • Learn how to turn off electricity, gas and water.
  • Be ready to be self-sufficient for at least 3 days. Have basic supplies on hand.
Drop, Cover, Hold On
During an Earthquake
Stay indoors! The greatest danger is directly outside buildings due to falling debris.
  • Get under heavy furniture such as a desk, table or bench. Crouch down and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. This is the best protection. Remember: Drop, Cover and Hold!
  • Stay away from large windows, mirrors and other glass.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, stay away from outside walls. Get under a table. Do not use elevators.
  • If you are already outside, get into an open area away from buildings, power lines, trees, overpasses and bridges.
  • Expect aftershocks.  After shocks are often smaller quakes and sometimes larger ones that follow the first earthquake. They can often follow hours or days after the first shake, causing more damage to weakened buildings and structures.
After an Earthquake
Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a hissing or blowing noise, open a window and leave the building immediately. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve, if possible, and call the gas company.
Turn on your battery-powered radio for instructions from your local officials and news reports from your local media.
Check your building's foundation, roof and chimneys for cracks and damage.
For more, go to the Ready Virginia website and click on Stay Informed.