April Safety Message

Earthquake Preparedness

nimitz freewayAwareness is not preparedness, awareness and action to prepare is Preparedness!

  • Secure water heater with plumber’s tape or medium gauge metal strapping to wall studs with lag screws or 16-penny nails. The metal strapping should be placed approximately 18 inches from the top of the water heater, and the second strap should be about 24 inches from the bottom of the water heater.
  • Secure bookcases and other heavy furniture to walls. Kitchen cabinet doors should be latched so that heavy dishes cannot fall out.
  • Know where the main shut-off is for your electrical power and how to turn it off in case of any emergency.
  • Keep a wrench that will fit your gas valve near the gas meter. This will shut off your natural gas supply in case of an emergency. Do not turn the gas valve back on. Wait for PG & E to do this for you.
  • Know where the main shut-off is for the water to your house. To turn the water off, turn the handle fully to the right (clockwise).

Home Emergency Supplies
Quantities of emergency supplies should be adequate for at least 72 hours. A two-week supply of water, food, medicine and other consumable items is recommended as a minimum reserve.

Survival check list:

  • Water – 2 quarts to 1 gallon per person per day
  • First Aid Kit – ample and freshly stocked
  • First Aid Book (American Red Cross, Standard First Aid and Personal Safety)
  • Can opener (non-electric)
  • Blankets or sleeping bag for each member of family
  • Radio – portable, battery-operated
  • Spare batteries
  • Essential medication and glasses
  • Fire Extinguisher – ABC type
  • Flashlight – fresh and spare batteries and bulb
  • Watch or clock – battery or spring wound
  • Smoke detector – battery-operated
  • Escape ladder – for second story of home
  • Food for pets
  • Money

Sanitation Supplies:

  • Large plastic trash bags for trash, water, water protection and ground clothes
  • Bar soap
  • Liquid detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Pre-moistened towelettes
  • Deodorant
  • Denture cleanser
  • Feminine supplies
  • Infant supplies
  • Toilet paper
  • Powdered chlorinated lime – add to sewage to deodorize, disinfect and keep away insects
  • Newspaper, to wrap garbage and waste
  • Household bleach

Safety and Comfort:

  • Sturdy shoes for every member of the family
  • Heavy gloves for every person cleaning debris
  • Candles
  • Matches – dipped in wax and kept in waterproof container
  • Clothes – complete change kept dry
  • Knife or razor blades
  • Garden hose for siphoning and fire fighting
  • Tent
  • Hat or cap – protection from sun, rain or cold


  • Barbecue – hibachi, camp stove, chafing dish, fireplace, etc.
  • Fuel for cooking equipment – charcoal, lighter fluid, fuel for camp stove, presto logs
  • Plastic knives, forks, spoons
  • Paper plates and cups
  • Paper towels
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil

Please take the time and look at your home or work place with “earthquake eyes.” Imagine it as a rolling ship at sea for 10-15 seconds. What do you need to secure to prevent injury and damage? Experts say it is not if, but when the next earthquake will occur. Take action now to prepare. It will be too late when the ground starts shaking again. Remember it may be 72 hours before relief will be available.

Refer to the telephone directory for additional preparedness information. If you have further questions please call the American Red Cross or Albany Fire Department at 1 + (510) 528-5775.