No one knows when an earthquake can happen. Still, you and your family can survive through careful preparation. Once you know what to do, this knowledge may save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

To prepare your family for an earthquake:

1. Designate a meeting place for your family both in the home and off site. Hold periodic meetings with your family to discuss where to meet if there is an evacuation. If an earthquake happens, and you are not with your family, the home or chosen meeting place will be where everyone assembles.

2. Prepare map routes from home, school, and work towards the meeting place. Draw all these routes on paper and distribute a copy to each member of the family.

3. List each family member’s cell phone numbers as well as other emergency contacts on the back of the map routes and laminate the paper for durability. Keep in mind though that telephone communication may be unavailable after the earthquake.

4. Put together an compact emergency kit for each member of your family that includes water, first aid supplies, a flashlight, water, energy bars and spare clothes,. At the meeting place leave all the supplies you and your family would need for one week or have each person keep some of the items with them at all times. The top items in addition to the above: canned foods, toilet paper, blankets and sewing kit. Feel free to add more items like a radio, board games, books, and pillows.

5. Review the earthquake escape plan regularly to ensure everyone knows it. Each family member should know how to react when an earthquake occurs. Each one should know how to protect themselves when separated from the others.

6. Fires often occur during an earthquake due to broken gas pipes and electrical wiring. Try to switch off both the main electrical source and gas supply if you have access to your house.

7. After the earthquake, keep the whole family inside the safe meeting place to avoid suffering from after-shocks.

8. Hire a recommended professional to restore any damage to your house.

Remember First General is here to help, contact our 24/7 emergency support team.