Every country on earth is vulnerable to earthquakes or seismic activity. Earthquakes happen without notice and can affect a large area or region.

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth when a tectonic plate shifts or moves.  The earth’s tectonic plates move, and over time, cause stress where neighboring plates meet.  Earthquakes are the result of that stress being released.

In the United States, most Americans believe that earthquakes only happen on the west coast, in California or along the Pacific coastline.  The reality is that there are 45 states and territories throughout the U.S. that are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes.  Similar instances exist around the world.

Earthquakes can be minor, where the shaking can faintly be felt, or they can be devastating, bringing wide-spread destruction to an entire region.

Only after an earthquake will the degree of damage be known.  Major earthquakes can completely destroy your home and make it uninhabitable, but even relatively minor quakes can disrupt power and other utilities for many days or more.

In instances where your home is still inhabitable, be prepared to be without power and utilities for a week or two.


How To Prepare for an Earthquake

Since earthquakes happen without notice, it is important to be prepared in advance.

You need a bug-out bag packed and ready!  Do your prep now.


Earthquake Damage Prevention:

  1. Secure glass and other breakable items.
  2. Avoid having large and/or heavy objects on higher shelves.
  3. Anchor large appliances, including your hot water heater, to wall studs and floors to prevent shifting during a quake.
  4. Ensure pictures and other wall hangings are securely hung on walls.  Avoid having wall hangings directly above sitting and sleeping areas to reduce the likelihood of injuries.
  5. For hazardous and flammable items such as herbicides, pesticides and gasoline, store them on a low shelf, preferably in a cabinet with latched doors.

For more information about how to prepare you and your family for an earthquake or other disasters, click here.