Are You Earthquake-Ready? Heed These Emergency-Prep Plans

Debris from a collapsed wall sits in Oaxaca, Mexico, after an earthquake early Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. A massive 8-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of southern Mexico late Thursday night, causing buildings to sway violently and people to flee into the street in panic as far away as the capital city.(AP Photo/Luis Alberto Cruz)

After Mexico quake, Harvey devastation and looming Hurricane Irma, it’s time to prepare your household – pets, too! – for a catastrophe.

By Susan C. Schena (Patch Staff)

LOS ANGELES – Thursday’s 8.1-magnitude earthquake that hit offshore in Mexico prompted the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management to remind Southlanders today of the importance of earthquake preparedness.

“The Los Angeles County region is vulnerable to large-scale earthquakes similar to the one that struck Mexico,” said Ken Kondo of the L.A. County OEM. “All county residents and businesses (should) take the necessary steps now to prepare for earthquakes and other hazards and threats.”

Being prepared with proper supplies for your family and pets is key to weathering possible flooding, earthquakes, fires or evacuations.

Also See: Death Toll From Mexico’s 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Keeps Rising

The OEM issued the following tips:

— To receive emergency notifications, register your cellular telephone and landline telephones at Alert LA County at the website to

— When you are in public places, be aware of your surroundings and identify your safe spaces.

— If you experience shaking, the recommended actions are described in the slogan “Drop, Take Cover, and Hold On.” Drop under a piece of furniture; take cover under the piece of furniture by protecting your head and neck with one arm/hand; and hold on to the piece of furniture’s leg to keep it from shifting or uncovering you until the shaking completely stops.

— Never run out of buildings during an earthquake, as most people are injured by falling debris as they try to exit buildings during the shaking.

— If you experience shaking and are in a wheelchair or walker, lock your wheels, and cover your head and neck area with a pillow or some type of object that will deflect the debris from falling on to you.

The American Red Cross recommends keeping supplies in an easy-to-carry bag or kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate. At a minimum, the Red Cross advises, you should have these basic supplies:


  • Water: one gallon per person, per day (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home)
  • Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (three-day supply for evacuation, two-week supply for home).
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool, such as a Swiss army knife.
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area


Pet owners also should prepare a supply kit, preferably in an easy-to-carry backpack or duffel bag in case you need to evacuate quickly, according to animal activists at Alley Cat Allies. The organization recommends disaster kit basics for pets to include:

  • Pet first-aid kit
  • Supply of prescription medications for pets. Make note of expiration dates.
  • Veterinary and microchip ID records.
  • Pet food — three to seven days’ worth — and dishes.
  • Litter box and litter.
  • Leash and collar.
  • Crate or carrier; pillow case or other item in case you need to quickly grab your pet to leave.
  • Blankets or towels.
  • Photos of pets in case they need to be identified.
  • Bottled water — a seven-day supply per pet.

For information to register online for 2017 Great California ShakeOut, access

For more information on how to prepare for earthquakes and other hazards and threats in Los Angeles County, OEM has available online the “County of Los Angeles Emergency Survival Guide” at

Also, Los Angeles County residents, renters, and business owners, including persons with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, may call 211 LA County at any time for emergency preparedness information and other referral services. The toll-free 2-1-1 number is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. 211 LA County services can also be accessed online by visiting


—City News Service contributed to this report/Mexico earthquake, Photo credit:Luis Alberto Cruz/Associated Press