Carson Family Earthquake Plan

Before the Earthquake:
1. Train Family Members
  • In first aid (the Red Cross offers frequent courses); 
  • In how to shut off the gas, water, and electricity;
  • In how to protect oneself during the earthquake (get UNDER something or get something OVER you.)
  • What would happen here if the earthquake occurred now?  
  • How would we protect ourselves?  
If you play the game regularly, you will be quicker to react when the earthquake occurs, alert yourself to dangers in your home that you can easily correct, and feel more secure about other members of your family when you are apart.
  • Store sturdy shoes and flashlight for EACH family member UNDERNEATH THEIR BED;
  • At least a 72-hour supply of food and water in plastic bottles; 
  • Wrench to shut off gas-attach to gas meter; 
  • First aid kit and book; 
  • Fire extinguishers;
  • Optional: portable cooking equipment and fuel.
  • Secure water heater, refrigerator, and heavy items of furniture to wall studs; 
  • Check closets, shelves, and cabinets and move heavy items to lower shelves;
  • Install clips or latches on inside of cabinet doors; 
  • Remove or isolate flammable materials;
List three or four places where you plan to go if you cannot stay in your home, such as neighbors' or relatives' homes or local schools or community centers.  If you arrive home after the quake and no one is there, this will give you some places to start looking.

Hold Children  /  Release Children /  Other

In a MAJOR earthquake, you may experience a shaking that starts out to be gentle and within a second or two grows violent and knocks you off your feet... or you may be jarred first by a violent jolt-as though your house was hit by a truck.  A second or two later you'll find it very difficult (if not impossible) to move from one room to another.

During the Earthquake ...
1. Keep Calm - Do not run or panic.
2. Remain where you are-indoors or outdoors.
3. If indoors, stay indoors. Take cover under desk, table or bench, or in doorways, halls or against inside walls. Stay away from glass windows or sky lights. Do not use elevators. Do not run out doors! You may be hit by falling debris or live electrical wires.
4. If outdoors, get away from buildings. Go to clear areas and stay away from walls, utility poles and downed wires that could cause serious injury or death.
5. Do not run through, or outside buildings. The great point of danger is just outside doorways and close to outer walls.
6. If you are in your car, pull to the side of the road and stop the car. Do not park under overpasses or overhead wires. Stay in your car until the earthquake is over. If the earthquake has been severe, do not attempt to cross bridges or overpasses that have been damaged.
7. If in a crowded public place, do not rush for the doorway since other people have the same idea.
After the Earthquake:

GIVE FIRST AID to anyone who is injured.

WEAR SHOES in areas near fallen debris and broken glass.


Gas: Inspect for leaky pipes - By smell only.  If you smell gas: Do not use candles, matches, or other open flames.  Do not operate electrical switches or appliances.  Shut off the main valve at the meter, open all windows and doors so the gas can escape, leave house, and report leak to authorities.

Electricity:  If damage to your electrical system is suspected (frayed wires, sparks, or the smell of hot insulation), turn off system at main fuse box.

Water:  If water leaks are suspected, shut off water at main valve. 

 Do not switch on the gas or electricity again until the power company has first checked your home.

CHECK NEIGHBORS for injuries or fire hazards.

TURN ON BATTERY-POWERED RADIO or car radio (640AM) and listen for advisories)

CHECK HOUSE, roof, chimney for damage.

CLEAN UP DEBRIS, glass, and spilled medicines, flammable liquids, bleaches, and gasoline.

RESTRICT PHONE USE to extreme emergencies.

CHECK CLOSETS AND CUPBOARDS. Open doors cautiously.  Beware of objects tumbling off shelves.

DO NOT USE YOUR VEHICLE, unless there is an emergency. Do not go sightseeing through badly damaged areas.  You will only hamper the relief effort.  Keep streets clear for emergency vehicles.

BE PREPARED FOR AFTERSHOCKS.  These are usually smaller than the main quake, but some may be large enough to do additional damage to structures weakened during the main shock.

COOPERATE WITH PUBLIC SAFETY EFFORTS.  (The welfare of separated family members is handled by the American Red Cross.)

If You Must Evacuate ...
1. PROMINENTLY POST A MESSAGE indicating where you can be found.


  • Medicines and first aid kit;
  • Flashlight, radio and batteries;
  • Important papers and cash;
  • Food, sleeping bags, extra clothes, eyeglasses.
Water Tips ...

STORAGE OF DRINKING WATER:  Minimum one gallon per day, for 3-7 days per family member. Water should be stored in carefully cleaned, noncorrosive, tightly covered containers (heavy opaque plastic bottles with screw on lids are best).

OTHER SOURCES OF LIQUID IF YOUR WATER SUPPLY IS TURNED OFF: Water drained from the hot water tank, melted ice cubes, water dipped from the toilet flush tank (not the bowl!), canned fruit and vegetable juices, and liquid from other canned foods.  If you must use toilet-tank water, purify before using.  Do not use chemically treated "blue" water.


1. Strain water through a clean cloth into a container to remove any sediment or floating matter.  Boil vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Strain water as above. Use a LIQUID household bleach solution such as regular CHLOROX.  Add about 10 drops per gallon of water, mix well and let stand 30 minutes. A slight taste or smell of chlorine indicates that the water is good to drink. If not, repeat the dosage.

3. Use household Tincture of Iodine (2%) in the same manner as for the regular CHLOROX except use about 25-30 drops per gallon of water.

4.Use commercial purification tablets such as HAZALONE or GLOBALINE.  Follow instructions on the package.

Some stored water may develop a disagreeable appearance, taste, or odor, but these properties are not harmful.

First Aid Tips ...
  (These tips are no substitute for a first aid course at our local Red Cross or other safety agency.)

General Rules

1. Keep the injured person lying down, covered, and warm.
2. Don't move the individual except from an area which would further endangered his life.
3. Examine the individual to determine if emergency action is necessary.
4. Do not give an unconscious or semi-conscious person anything to drink.
5. Do not let an injured person see his wounds.
6. Reassure him and keep him comfortable.
Start Breathing
Open Airway...Clean out his mouth with your finger. Lift neck gently and tilt his head back...  hold it that way.
  Breathe for him...pinch his nose, take a deep breath, then put your mouth over his and blow. Breathe into his mouth once every five seconds.  
  If unconscious: Open Airway...clean out mouth with your finger. Lift neck gently and tilt his head back, holding it in this position. Sometimes this may be enough and the person will resume breathing normally. If not, breathe for him. Pinch his nose, take a deep breath, then put your mouth over his and blow. The chest will rise as you blow. Remove your mouth and watch the chest fall. Repeat every five seconds or about 12 times a minute until the victim can breathe for himself. (Repeat every three seconds or 20 times for children, but use less pressure.) For infants, use only small puffs from the cheeks every three seconds, until breathing is restored.
Stop Bleeding
  Apply pressure directly over the wound with a dressing, clean cloth, or even the bare hand. When bleeding has been controlled, bandage firmly. Do not use a tourniquet except as a last resort.
  Treat for shock  
The person going into shock usually becomes pale; his skin cold and moist; his pulse rapid. He may be unconscious. Keep the person lying down with his head level with or lower than his body. Keep him warm but do not allow him to be overheated.

  The survival Guide printed near the front of your Pacific and General Telephone Books gives excellent instructions for coping with various emergencies, including earthquakes.  


City Hall Contact

701 E Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745
(310) 830-7600, 7 AM - 6 PM
Monday - Thursday
24-hour automated: (310) 952-1700


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