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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 4:22 pm | Fair 63º


Drop, Cover, Hold On, and Other Earthquake Safety Tips

The recent 4.3 magnitude that struck near Lompoc is a reminder of the importance of preparing for earthquakes, and knowing how to protect yourself and your loved ones when another earthquake strikes.

In addition to the earthquake safety tips listed below, the city of Lompoc encourages all area residents to register to receive emergency alerts through Santa Barbara County’s Aware and Prepare emergency notification system.

The Aware and Prepare website also includes guidance on completing and practicing an emergency escape plan from a home, office, or neighborhood. For more information and to sign up for emergency alerts, visit www.awareandprepare.org.

Earthquake safety tips from the Lompoc Fire Department:

Prepare Home Earthquake Plan

• Choose a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.

• Practice Drop, Cover and Hold On at least twice a year:

Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you.

• Teach children to Drop, Cover and Hold On.

• Choose an out-of-town family contact.

• Consult a professional to learn additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.

• Take a first-aid class from your local fire department. Keep your training current.

• Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.

• Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.

Eliminate Hazards

• Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.

• Install strong latches on cupboards.

• Strap the water heater to wall studs.

Prepare Disaster Supplies Kit For Home and Car with

• First aid kit and essential medications, canned food and can opener; at least 3 gallons of water per person; protective clothing; rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags; battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries; special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.

• Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity and water if advised t do so by authorities. (You'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)

• Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.

Know What to Do When the Shaking Begins

• Drop, Cover and Hold On. Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.

• If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.

• If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.

• If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place (as described above). Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

Identify What to Do After Shaking Stops

• Check yourself for injuries. Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.

• Check others for injuries. Give first aid for serious injuries.

• Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Turn off gas if you smell gas or think it's leaking. (Only a professional should turn it back on.)

• Listen to radio for instructions.

• Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, Drop, Cover and Hold On

• Inspect home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.

• Use telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.

— Samantha Scroggin for the city of Lompoc.


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