Earthquake Preparedness


The Loma Prieta Earthquake (7.1 magnitude) struck on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m. The earthquake caught many unprepared to deal with the effects that occurred immediately after. Many Watsonville residents could not go back into their homes-some because of damage and others because of fear. The earthquake lasted for 15 seconds. The impacts lasted for many years after.

Before an earthquake happens-be prepared. Here are some tips from

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls and place large, or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, flammable products and any breakable items securely on bottom shelves with latches.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
  • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

Your emergency kit could include the following:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

In addition to the basics above, also consider including the following:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

There are many more items to consider based on the needs of you and your family. Go to for a recommended supplies list from FEMA .

Don’t get caught unprepared. Be ready.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 at 5:54 pm and is filed under City of Watsonville, Fire Department, Homepage News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.