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Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Earthquake Preparedness


It is important for residents of the San Fernando Valley to remember how vulnerable we are to earthquakes. Many Valley residents have vivid memories of the destruction caused by the Northridge Earthquake. Fifty-seven lives were lost and more than $20 billion dollars in property damage resulted from those ten seconds of violent shaking.

 When calamity strikes, good preparation can help mitigate the damage caused, keep loved ones safe, and make it easier for our emergency services to respond effectively. 

 Here are some preparations those of us in earthquake country can make today to help make our homes and families safer.

Are you prepared for the next big one?

It’s important to prepare your earthquake kit and put a family plan in place in advance of an earthquake so that you can be prepared. Depending on the size of the earthquake and the resulting damage, first responders may not be able to reach you immediately. Make sure to have enough water, food, and supplies available until help arrives.

 Know your home:

  • Identify "safe places" in each room of your house -- under a robust table/desk or against an inside wall.
  • Practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On!" drills in each room with your family.
  • Know all the potential exits to your home.
  • Plan a meeting location outside of the home for your family.

The Red Cross provides helpful tips on what you can to before, during, and after an earthquake. You can also find a helpful earthquake safety checklist in various languages.

Find out what resources are available to you from FEMA or USGS:

  • Your Earthquake Risk​
  • Earthquake Hazard Maps
  • Disaster Assistance after an earthquake
  • Directory of FEMA Earthquake Partners: This publication includes contact information for more than 300 organizations and individuals involved in earthquake mitigation at the federal and state levels and in the non-governmental sector.​​
  • State Earthquake Contacts: Many state and territorial governments include programs or positions responsible for coordinating efforts to reduce seismic risks. Earthquake programs are typically found in state emergency management agencies and state earthquake risk-reduction activities are typically led by earthquake program managers or coordinators or by state hazard mitigation officers.​​
  • Regional Earthquake Consortia: FEMA provides support for the operation of four regional consortia, nonprofit organizations that are responding to the multistate, region-wide impacts that large earthquakes could produce in different parts of the nation.​​
  • FEMA Earthquake Contacts: Earthquake-specific activities at FEMA are coordinated by an earthquake program team located at FEMA headquarters, working in concert with regional earthquake program managers located in FEMA’s regional offices. Because their activities are supported through FEMA’s participation in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), these personnel are also known collectively as the FEMA NEHRP team.