April 3, 2009, Newsletter Issue #161: Earthquake Plan

Tip of the Week

Sitting on one of the major fault lines in the United States, Californians are all too familiar with the effects of an earthquake. Before moving in with a roommate in California, talk about earthquake facts and set a recovery plan in the event there is an earthquake. Here are some basic planning guides to get you going:

- Develop an emergency plan for your home with your roommate. Where will you meet in the event of an earthquake and how will you get in touch with one another?
- Designate an out-of-state contact to call. After an earthquake, long distance lines may be operable earlier than local lines.
- If you're in your home during an earthquake, plan an escape route and an alternate route. Discuss and practice this with your roommate. Keep a flashlight handy and accessible on both routes.
- You can help protect your home before an earthquake. After you and your roommate move in together, secure tall furniture and artwork to the wall and keep heavy items on the bottom of shelves.
- Learn how to use a fire extinguisher and keep one in an easily accessible place in your home.

While no one wants to be caught in the middle of an earthquake, it's better to be prepared than caught off guard. Talk to your roommate about the potential dangers and emergency evacuation plans.

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