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If an earthquake strikes, remember to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On!’

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Living in earthquake country, we all know the big one can strike at any time. When it does, do you know what to do?

As part of an ongoing effort to educate residents in emergency preparedness, the City of Mission Viejo is offering detailed information through the Emergency Survival Program (ESP).  This guide features monthly topics, historical information and what you can do now to prepare. August’s focus is about remembering to “Drop, Cover and Hold On!”

Learn what to do during an earthquake, whether you’re at home, work, school or just out and about. Taking the proper actions, such as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” can save lives and reduce your risk of death or injury. During earthquakes, drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to it firmly. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops. If you are at the beach, move to higher ground.

Here are some other tips:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks.
  • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: “Drop, Cover and Hold On.”

For more in-depth information on this month’s topic and other preparedness information, visit the City’s emergency preparedness page.

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