Earthquake Preparedness


I recently moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles to take a great management job. As part of my initiation, my new team took me to see that movie “San Andreas.”  I have to admit, it made me nervous! Do you have any earthquake safety tips that will soothe my fears?

Dear, Shaking in Your Boots,

Every region has its natural disasters. If you’re from the Midwest, tornadoes were probably your biggest threat. The southeast has hurricanes (the “best” of all natural disasters, in my opinion, because you get plenty of advance notice.) Wherever you live, learn how to prepare for a natural disaster, and then try to stop worrying. As the saying goes, “Most of the stuff people worry about never happens.”

Building_EarthquakeMillions of people worldwide will participate in the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill on October 15 at 10:15 AM. You can register your company to, as the website says, “have peace of mind that you, your family, your co-workers and millions of others will be better prepared to survive and recover quickly from our next big earthquake.” Go directly to the Resources page to peruse the appropriate manuals, posters and flyers for an earthquake drill.

The most important thing to remember is Drop, Cover, and Hold On if you are indoors during an earthquake.

  • DROP to your hands and knees.
  • COVER your head and neck under a sturdy table or desk.
  • HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops.

In a high-rise building, stay away from windows, and don’t use the elevator. To avoid collapsing windows or building facades, remain inside if you are inside. If you are outdoors, find a safe area clear of buildings, power lines, trees, and signs.

To prepare for any disaster, keep an emergency supply kit on hand. Visit for a list of recommended items.

Readers: Will you be participating in The Great Shakeout?

Do you have a job-related question? Ask Anita.

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Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace
Natural Disaster Preparation for Managers

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dominique S
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 14:51:45

    When it does happen in which I hope that I will be present to witness, That day after will be the time to mold a new life for everyone including those on the evil side of life and I would hope that all the good people would help in keeping them extinct. Now who I mean the evil ones, is simple…. the ones who love killing or hassling another human based on the color of his or her skin or religion. yawl all would or should agree on this (even with the everybody has a right to blah blah blah) because these people are apart of the reason that America is no more THE GREAT NATION that we once were after the civil war happened


  2. Oscar Rodriguez
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 13:21:35

    A couple of things I can say.
    1) ” …….As part of my initiation, my new team took me to see that movie “San Andreas.” It seems that her team might not be to crazy about her since it seems they want to scare her off.

    2) Originally, I came from a country that trembles almost every year. We had several 8+ magnitude earthquakes that killed thousands. I was there for the last major one. This I know for a FACT. You have a better chance of living if you run for the nearest exit than if you DROP, COVER and HOLD ON. Hold on to what? the ceiling will most likely come down on your head. During an earthquake, the perimeter wall of an structure will fall towards the outside and ceiling comes straight down, specially in in a high rise building where the upper floors will weight on the lower floors. This is not a theory that I read about, I actually saw it happens many times.


  3. Julieta A. Lisbo
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:38:40



  4. Gabriela
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:14:21

    Hola buenas mi pregunta Es la siguiente yo en mayo me case con mi esposo que Es ciudadano americano pues entramos Los papeles Ase tres Meses me llego el recibo y todo pues Ase 4 Dias me llego una carta donde me dice varias cosas q tengo q mandar como la fidavit y Eso Pero en un lado me dice de ir a santo Domingo que Es mi pais a buscar mi visa no entiendo que tendria que hacer si yo Estoy Aqui y entre legal mente que usted me dice espero su respuesta porfabor


    • anitaclew
      Oct 14, 2015 @ 11:19:26

      Gabriela, I’m sorry I don’t speak Spanish, and am not an expert in foreign visas. I would suggest you contact a Legal Aid agency in your city. Good luck!


    Oct 13, 2015 @ 10:36:28



  6. David Jackson
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 09:47:15

    Don’t act in a hurry immediately following an earthquake. Immediately following the 1994 quake in Northridge, CA there were hazards everywhere, and it was so dark outside that car headlights did not light the road well. Manhole covers had blown out of their holes. Huge gas and water leaks caused streets to be out of commission.
    It’s a great idea to have a water dispenser at home and keep at least 5 bottles of water on hand for such emergency needs. Dry and canned goods are important because refridgerated food will begin to spoil in hours without power. Power can be out for days, as well as gas and tap water. Many retailers were unable to open for over a week. A camp stove and lantern can be lifesavers too. Be sure you have some spare fuel for them.


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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