Before the next big earthquake (or other emergency) in your area, do whatever you can to get prepared so you will survive and recover quickly. These four steps each contain a basic set of recommended actions for how to get prepared at home or in the workplace.Many are free or low cost solutions.

Start with Step 1 by securing a potential danger in your home, something that is easy and fast to accomplish. For example, move a heavy object from a high location closer to the floor. This only will take a minute and will prevent the object from falling onto someone or causing damage. You don't need to complete all of the actions in each step before beginning the next.

Step 1:
Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable 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.

You can complete one item a day, one a weekend, or one a month. Just remember that earthquakes strike without warning, so you want to get as many completed BEFORE the shaking starts. Soon you will be prepared to survive and recover!

©2015 SCEC Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC