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Earthquake Preparedness



An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves.  San Francisco’s history, geography, and probability for future tremors make earthquakes a significant hazard for our city.


Quick Tips:


  • Drop, cover, and hold on when the ground starts shaking.
  • If you are inside, drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture, and hold on until the shaking stops.
  • If a sturdy table or desk is not available, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the room.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall on you, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during shaking.
  • If you are outdoors, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as safety permits and stay inside the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution; avoid roads, overpasses, bridges, or ramps until you know they are safe.

Before an Earthquake
Step 1:  Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing movable items.
Step 2:  Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.
Step 3:  Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.
Step 4:  Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.

During an Earthquake
Step 5:  Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes.
Step 6:  Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.

After an Earthquake
Step 7:  Reconnect and Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing damage, and rebuilding community.