Being prepared for a variety of natural disasters is important in a state like Colorado where these events are all too common. While major earthquakes are infrequent in the state, they do happen, and smaller, more localized tremors happen on a regular basis. The CGS has been conducting in-depth research into Colorado seismicity for many decades. We also work with several local, state, and federal agencies to improve earthquake preparedness, damage mitigation, disaster recovery, and resiliency.
Our friends at the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA)—a public-private-grassroots partnership of people, organizations, and regional alliances in California—have organized many useful resources and tips for earthquake preparedness, survival, and recovery. Here we have summarized their four basic steps for earthquake preparedness.
También tienen información para prepararse para un terremoto en español.
Step 1: Secure your space
If your home or office was picked up and shaken, what would need to be secured so it does not get thrown around and cause severe damage?
Move and/or secure heavy objects that could tip over, such as bookcases, away from places where people sit, sleep, or spend a lot of time. Secure water heaters. Move heavy objects to low shelves.
Before a natural disaster, make an emergency plan with your family or housemates. Agree about what each person in the household will do in case of an emergency. Your plan should include plans for evacuation, communications, and reunion, as well as contingencies for a disaster occurring while some family members are not home.
Identify safe places in your home to take cover during an earthquake.
It is also particularly important to practice your emergency plan. Practice earthquake drills, other disaster drills, as well as evacuation plans with your household.
Step 3: Organize emergency supplies
It is important to have emergency supplies organized and accessible in convenient locations. Specifically for earthquake preparedness, it is important to have an under-bed bag packed with shoes, a flashlight or headlamp, glasses or contacts, a dust mask, a whistle, and any other safety clothing or items. These are items you want very handy in a closed bag protected from debris in case an earthquake occurs while you and your family are sleeping.
Go-bags and car kits should be prepared for emergencies in which an evacuation is needed. Think about what items you will need if you must leave your house in an emergency. It is best if you have enough supplies for up to three days. You will want important documents and phone numbers written down. Also, any medications, first aid kits, pet food, personal hygiene items.
It is also important to have emergency supplies around your house in case a disaster eliminates power or access to supplies and services for multiple days. Ideally, you should have two weeks of emergency food and pet supplies but at least a minimum of three days.
Step 4: Minimize financial hardship
This step involves things you can do to reduce the economic impact and damage your home may experience during an earthquake. Having adequate homeowners or renters insurance is important along with taking practical steps to retrofit your home to improve its resilience in case of a disaster. It can be especially useful to have photos of the contents of your home in case you need to file insurance claims.
Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) – Informacion de terremotos –- Informacion a prepárese antes del próximo terremoto en Español.
El Gran ShakeOut –- Informacion sobre simulacros de terremoto en Español.
Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) – Earthquake Safety Checklist –- Booklet that will aid family preparations for a potential earthquake disaster.
Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) – Earthquake Safety at Home — This guide “will show you why you should care about earthquakes wherever you live, and how you can Prepare, Protect, Survive, Respond, Recover and Repair.”
Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) – National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) — Following Congressional statute, NEHRP leads the federal government’s efforts to reduce the fatalities, injuries and property losses caused by earthquakes.
Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology (IRIS) – Education and Outreach –- Activities and educational resources on earthquakes.
Oregon Office of Emergency Preparedness – 2 Weeks Ready Program –- Learn how to be prepared for two weeks of self-sufficiency in case of a natural disaster.
PBS Kids – Build a Shake Table –- Instructions on how to build a simple shake table. This shake table uses tennis balls, but you can be creative and make up other variations, we usually like to use marbles.
US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Ready.gov – Earthquakes — Ready.gov covers preparations for all kinds of hazards and disasters including earthquakes.
USGS – Earthquake Education –- Activities and educational resources on the science behind earthquakes.