Natural disasters occur without warning. Therefore, assembling an earthquake kit in advance and generally planning ahead are key to survival and recovery when an event occurs. Thankfully, there are a number of government agencies, nonprofits and businesses that help citizens prepare wisely, minimize danger and recover. Take time now to familiarize yourself with these resources so that you can take appropriate action as needed.
The following resources will help you and your household to stay safe and prepare yourselves and your property for an earthquake. As you prepare, you'll feel more confident and secure. Together we can improve safety, and we can also clean up and recover when necessary.
Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security website provides information to help you prepare now, survive during an earthquake and act safely immediately after an event. Each link at Ready.gov includes related links with finer details to help you prepare no matter what your individual needs and circumstances are:
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross provides online help before, during and after an earthquake at Earthquake Safety. In addition, the Red Cross has five regional offices in California. Click on links below to find a local office and note the contact information with your important documents and on your cell phone. Local offices will coordinate and provide tangible services, such as:
- Conducting search and rescue efforts.
- Providing medical care.
- Serving food and water.
- Distributing relief supplies.
- Building an emergency shelter.
- Restoring communications.
The American Red Cross also helps people with recovering emotionally. For free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746. If you are in immediate need of help, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross listed below:
Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura
- Kern County & Eastern Sierra: Bakersfield: 661-324-6427
- Pacific Coast: Camarillo: 805-987-1514; Santa Barbara: 805-687-1331
- Central Valley: Fresno: 559-455-1000
- Ventura County:
San Luis Obispo: 805-543-0696
- American Red Cross of Southern California serves San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino counties.
- Orange County: Santa Ana: 714-481-5300
- Riverside County: Riverside: 888-831-0031
- San Diego and Imperial counties: San Diego Regional Headquarters: 858-309-1200; El Centro: 760-352-4541
- San Bernardino County:
Rancho Cucamonga: 909-888-1481
- American Red Cross Gold Country Region consists of two chapters,
the Northern California Chapter and the Sierra-Delta Chapter.
- American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region is composed of five chapters and serves 16 counties.
- American Red Cross Los Angeles Region consists of five local chapters.
- Los Angeles Regional Headquarters: 310-445-9900
- Greater Long Beach, South Bay, and Metro and Southeast Los Angeles: Long Beach: 562-595-6341
- Santa Monica Bay: Santa Monica: 310-394-3773
- San Gabriel Pomona Valley:
- Northern Valleys: Glendale: 818-243-3121
Other Earthquake Safety Resources
- The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) was tasked by the governor to support and enhance preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. Resources for planning and preparation, as well as Earthquake Recovery, are available on this site.
- Contact the California Earthquake Authority for information about earthquake insurance and how to prepare your house. Earthquake damage isn't covered by a conventional home policy.
- The Great California ShakeOut is an annual event to share information and encourage people to practice how to be safer during earthquakes. Partners and sponsors of the event encourage you to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, secure your space, prepare financially, improve safety, and reconnect and recover after an earthquake.
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, responding to and recovering from disasters. The FEMA Earthquake Risk webpage provides information to help you before, during and after an earthquake.
- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) includes numerous links to earthquake resources and educational material.
- The California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is a collaboration of the California Geological Survey, Caltech Seismological Laboratory, Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, USGS Menlo Park, USGS Pasadena and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. CISN's mission includes earthquake monitoring and disseminating critical earthquake information in a timely way. Currently, the group is prototyping an early warning ShakeAlert for U.S. West Coast residents.
- Ready.gov: Make a Plan
- Ready.gov: Get Involved
- American Red Cross: Earthquake Safety
- American Red Cross: Recovering Emotionally
- American Red Cross: Pacific Coast Chapter
- American Red Cross: Central Valley
- American Red Cross: Ventura County
- American Red Cross: San Luis Obispo
- American Red Cross: Orange County
- American Red Cross: Riverside County
- American Red Cross: Southern California Region: Serves San Diego, Imperial, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
- American Red Cross: Los Angeles Region
- California Earthquake Authority: Prepare Your House for an Earthquake
- The Great California ShakeOut: Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
- Earthquake Country Alliance: Secure Your Space
- Earthquake Country Alliance: Minimize Financial Hardship
- Earthquake Country Alliance: Plan to Be Safe
- Earthquake Country Alliance: Organize Disaster Supplies
- Earthquake Country Alliance: Improve Safety
- Earthquake Country Alliance: Reconnect and Recover
- The Great California ShakeOut: Get Ready to ShakeOut!
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Earthquake Risk
- American Red Cross: Find Your Local Red Cross
- American Red Cross: California Regions
Tracie is a technical writer who earned her home and garden expertise while extensively remodeling two homes, custom-building a new home, and designing and building a cabin. Additionally, she and her husband, a former landscape professional, have created gardens that feature native plants and locally-sourced limestone. Tracie loves a cozy minimalist home and sews her own pillow covers, quilts, and curtains. Learn more at RicefordStreams.com.