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Earthquake preparedness: Tips for your emergency action plan

July 17, 2019

Assembling an earthquake emergency kit and investing in earthquake-resistant structures can help you build resilience to many natural disasters

earthquake

Earthquakes are often associated with California, not just because of action movies like “San Andreas.” California has one of the highest probabilities of earthquake damage in the United States.1 A reminder of the risks came July 5 when a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck in the Ridgecrest area of Southern California.

While West Coast states including California and Alaska are recognized as being particularly susceptible, all 50 states and five major U.S. territories have the potential to experience an earthquake.2


That’s just one reason taking steps toward earthquake preparedness can be a sound investment, wherever you live and work. Many earthquake safety measures also can help businesses, homes and people weather other types of natural disasters, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

And unlike many severe weather events, an earth-shaking shift can happen with little warning — as with the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that hit Virginia in 2011. It caused millions of dollars in damage, including to the Washington Monument and National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.3

Our earthquake safety and preparation guide offers a few steps to take before, during and after an earthquake’s rumble. Knowing the guidelines may help you remain steady in future unsettling events.

Related articles

1,2 U.S. Geological Survey. “Introduction to the National Seismic Hazard Maps.” U.S. Geological Survey. Accessed 9 July 2019. https://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/learn
3 Hopewell, John. ”Remembering the 2011 Virginia earthquake that rocked the Eastern U.S.” The Washington Post. 23 August 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/08/23/remembering-the-2011-virginia-earthquake-that-rocked-the-eastern-u-s/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4894e503e6d1

1 Hopewell, John. "Remembering the 2011 Virginia earthquake that rocked the Eastern U.S." The Washington Post. 23 August 2016. www.washingtonpost.com
2 U.S. Geological Survey. "Introduction to the National Seismic Hazard Maps." U.S. Geological Survey. Accessed 28 August 2018. earthquake.usgs.gov