An earthquake can happen at anytime
and anywhere. Unlike many other natural disasters, earthquakes can strike
during any season. It can also occur with little to no warning at all.
Earthquakes can knock out heat, power, and communications services, sometimes
for days at a time, leaving people stuck without utilities or other services. Your
goal for protection is to learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during an
Most casualties and injuries during
an earthquake occur when: people fall while trying to walk or run during the
shaking; when they are hit by falling, flying, or sliding items or
non-structural debris; and/or when they are struck or trapped by collapsing
walls or other parts of the building.
Americas PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for an Earthquake explains what the public should do before, during and after
- To prevent potential injuries, take the time to secure your space. Secure
items that might fall, fly, or slide in an earthquake. Imagine
if the room was picked up and shaken up and down and side to side and then
determine what items would be thrown around.
- Make sure your business is safer during earthquakes and more
resistant to earthquake damage. Get professional help to assess the
buildings structure and then take steps to install nonstructural solutions,
including foundation bolting and cripple wall bracing.
Americas PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook
explains how business
owners can take the necessary steps now to prepare themselves and their staff for
The playbook helps to enhance
organizational coordination and communication on preparedness and operational
continuity by recommending the
- Hold a preparedness discussion to explain company plans
and policies to motivate employees to be better prepared at home and work;
- Explain and practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On;
- Conduct a tabletop exercise with your staff to ensure
that the organization is familiar with and knows how to implement
- Develop an employee communications plan with all staff
contact information, including emergency points of contact;
Sign up for
local alerts and warnings in your community; and
- Organize and keep handy important documents such as
insurance information and rental or mortgage agreements.
It is important that business
owners discuss their plans with their employees to ensure they are aware of
what to do and where to go during an earthquake threat. You can read the entire
PrepareAthon! Prepare Your Organization for an Earthquake Playbook
Flooding is the most common natural
disaster in the United States and can happen anywhere.
Flooding can occur
slowly over many days leaving enough time to evacuate in advance or prepare to
be home for several days without power, water, or access to roads or services.
Or, as in the case of flash flooding, it can happen very quickly with little or
no warning and you may need to move quickly to make it to higher ground.
In the event of a flood, Americas
PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for a Flood offers the following
tips to reduce the risk of damage to your home or business:
- Elevate critical utilities, such as electrical panels, switches,
sockets, wiring, appliances, and heating systems;
- In areas with repetitive flooding, consider elevating the building;
- Waterproof basement areas and make sure your sump pump is working;
- Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
After a flood, timing is of the
essence. Water left in your home for a significant period of time can cause mold,
and even in some cases, structural damage. It is important to clean your home as
soon as possible following a flood.
Keep in mind that extreme care is
necessary when cleaning out your home following a flood. Americas
PrepareAthon!s how-to flood guide also provides recommendations
on how to best protect yourself and your property after a flood:
- Avoid wading in floodwaters as they often contain dangerous debris
like broken glass, metal, dead animals, or contaminants, such as sewage,
gasoline, and oil;
- Do not enter a damaged building unless it has been cleared by
authorities. There may be structural damage to the foundation, electrical
hazards, or hidden damage;
- Take precautions and wear appropriate protective equipment, such as
gloves, safety glasses, rubber boots, and masks that protect you from dust
and other dangerous particles;
- Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or youre standing in
- Shut off all utilities to a flooded home or building;
- Clean and disinfect anything that got wet; and
- Remove and replace any drywall or other paneling that was underwater.
The how-to guide offers more
recommendations, such as when its appropriate to return home after flooding.
You can read
those suggestions here.
In celebration of National African American History
Month, on Thursday, February 25, 2016, FEMAs Individual and Community
Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar focusing on engaging the public
on nationwide disaster preparedness and resilience efforts serving African
This is part of a series of
webinars that offer an inclusive, multicultural focus, and features leading
community members sharing their insights, experiences, and perspectives.
Title: National African American
History Month: Preparing Communities Through Partnerships
Date: Thursday, February 25, 2016
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST
Linda Wilson, Chair, Delta
Emergency Response Task Force, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will discuss how fraternities and sororities can
support disaster preparedness and response.
Jacqueline Patterson, Director, Environmental and
Climate Justice Program, NAACP will discuss
what local civic organizations can do to increase preparedness.
Shamika Ossey, RN, BSN, PHN, Community
Engagement & Resilience Consultant, South LA Teen CERT,
will discuss youth preparedness and
How to Join the Webinar:
We hope that you will be able to join us on February
for the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) are currently open. The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, March 1.
The Youth Preparedness Council offers an opportunity
for leaders to serve on a distinguished national council and participate
in the Youth Preparedness Council Summit. During their two-year term, the leaders will have the opportunity to complete a national-level group project
and to share their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions and questions
regarding youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of FEMA and national
youth preparedness organizations.
Council activities and projects center around five
areas of engagement: programs, partnerships, events, public speaking/outreach
and publishing. Members represent the youth perspective on emergency
preparedness and share information with their communities. They also meet with
FEMA on a regular basis to provide ongoing input on strategies, initiatives,
and projects throughout the duration of their term.
You can find the instructions to apply
on FEMAs website.
Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the
federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster
preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events,
entities, organizations, services or products. Please let us know about other events
and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included
in future newsletters by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.