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Survival Tips

If you are indoors when shaking starts:

• “DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON.? If you are not near a strong table or desk, drop to the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.

• Avoid windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances and cabinets filled with heavy objects.

• Do not try to run out of the structure during strong shaking.

• If you are downtown, it is safer to remain inside a building after an earthquake unless there is a fire or gas leak. There are no open areas in downtown San Francisco far enough from glass or other falling debris to be considered safe refuge sites.

• Glass from high-rise buildings does not always fall straight down; it can catch a wind current and travel great distances.

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

• Do not use elevators

• If you use a wheelchair, lock the wheels and cover your head.

If you are outdoors when shaking starts:

• Move to a clear area if you can safely walk. Avoid power lines, buildings and trees.

• If you’re driving, pull to the side of the road and stop. Avoid stopping under overhead


• If you are on the beach, move to higher ground. An earthquake can cause a tsunami.

Once the shaking stops:

• Check the people around you for injuries; provide first aid. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.

• Check around you for dangerous conditions, such as fires, downed power lines and structure damage.

• If you have fire extinguishers and are trained to use them, put out small fires immediately.

• Turn off the gas only if you smell gas.

• Check your phones to be sure they have not shaken off the hook and are tying up a line.

• Inspect your home for damage.

Food When a disaster occurs, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for days, or even weeks. Store enough emergency food to provide for your family for at least 3 days.

• Store food items that are familiar, rather than buying special emergency food. Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences you may have.

• Ideal foods are: Shelf-stable (no refrigeration required), low in salt, and do not require cooking (e.g. canned fruit, vegetables, peanut butter, jam, low-salt crackers, cookies, cereals, nuts, dried fruit, canned soup or meats, juices and non-fat dry milk).

• Mark a rotation date on any food container that does not already have an expiration date on the package.

• Include baby food and formula or other diet items for infants or seniors.

• Store the food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place.

• Most canned foods can safely be stored for at least 18 months. Low acid foods like meat products, fruits or vegetables will normally last at least 2 years. Use dry products, like boxed cereal, crackers, cookies, dried milk or dried fruit within six months.
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