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After an earthquake

  1. Be prepared for additional earthquake shocks called "aftershocks". Although most of these are smaller that the main shock, some may be large enough to cause additional damage.
  2. Check for injuries. Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
  3. Turn on your radio or television to get the latest emergency bulletins and instructions from local authorities.
  4. Check utilities. Earth movement may have broken gas, electrical and water lines. If you smell gas, open windows and shut off the main gas valve. Then leave the building and report gas leakage to authorities. Do not re-enter the building until a utility official says it is safe. If electrical wiring is shorting out, shut off current at the main meter box. If water pipes are damaged, shut off the supply at the main valve. Emergency water may be obtained from such sources as hot water tanks, toilet tanks, and melted ice cubes.
  5. Check to see that sewage lines are intact before permitting continued flushing of toilets.
  6. Check chimneys for cracks and damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to fire. The initial check should be made from a distance. Approach chimneys with great caution.
  7. Do not touch downed powerlines or objects touched by downed lines.
  8. Do not eat or drink anything from open containers near shattered glass.
  9. If power is off, check your freezer and plan meals to use foods which will spoil quickly.
  10. Stay out of severely damaged buildings. Aftershocks can shake them down.