This handbook provides information about the threat posed by earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay region and explains how you can prepare for, survive, and recover from these inevitable events.
Dare to PrepareEarthquake readiness campaign to raise earthquake awareness and encourage earthquake readiness in southern California. Open For Business ®Disaster planning toolkit for small to mid-sized business owners from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Community Action Plan for Seismic SafetyThe purpose of the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) project is to provide the Department of Building Inspection a plan of action, or policy road map, to reduce earthquake risks. The Alliance is a part of the Earthquake Country Alliance, a statewide alliance linking organizations and individuals that provide earthquake information and services. Your school or district should not prepare for earthquakes separately from other potential hazards. While your buildings may be well-built and have very little damage in an earthquake, your school may still be unable to resume operations due to damage to utility systems (power, water, gas, communications), hazardous material spills, and other issues beyond your control. Schools often include building evacuation as a part of their earthquake drill, since assembling in a common area after an earthquake will be the best way to account for students, prioritize first aid and triage, and conduct search and rescue.
In an emergency, you will need an area for a latrine if toilets are not working because the water supply is out or if bathrooms are not accessible. As soon as an earthquake begins to shake your school, your emergency planning is put into action. In managing educational facilities, the most important aspect of earthquake response is preventing injuries and deaths due to structural or building contents. Once to the assembly area, quickly advise search and rescue teams to return for those who did not exit with the class. After this basic training, establish a Fire Suppression and HazMat Team to respond in the event of an earthquake or other emergency.
This manual is intended to provide guidance for the protection of school buildings from natural disasters. Part C, Tools for Implementing Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation in School Buildings, is for school district facility managers, or those otherwise responsible for facility management, who will implement incremental seismic rehabilitation programs. This interactive Flash-based game helps people learn the correct ways to secure furniture and contents, before an earthquake occurs and everything falls that has not been secured.
This checklist and self-survey is useful for identifying which aspects of your plan need to be improved, or are not included.
This document describes four levels of drills; pick the drill level that makes the most sense for your school or district. Some areas indeed have a potential for damaging earthquakes, even though there may be no or little activity for many years. Newer codes require better designs to withstand expected levels of earthquake shaking for the area. For example, the California Field Act of 1933 requires higher standards for public school buildings as well as thorough inspection requirements.
However significant injuries and damage may also result when contents within classrooms, offices, and other facilities fall or are thrown during earthquake shaking. Such kits are typically sufficient for up to 400 people, though this does not mean 400 injuries. This is a great chance for teachers and staff to safely practice using a fire extinguisher.
An Earthquake Hazards Checklist form is also provided at the back of the publication to assist staff in conducting a nonstructural hazards survey.
These model documents may serve as a helpful guide for schools and districts which do not already have standardized forms. Your buildings may seem fine but have been weakened in the main earthquake, only to collapse during a large aftershock.
A useful asset to this resource is the Earthquake Hazards Checklist to assist staff in conducting a nonstructural hazards survey for each room within the educational facilities. School officials should be prepared to be self-sustaining for a minimum of 3 days in times of an emergency. The Guidebook also has thorough recommendations for storing and providing food, with formulas and tables for determining needed quantities.
The following instructions are for classroom teachers but can be modified for administrative officer and other school locations. The purpose of the document is the same as for the original: to explain the sources of nonstructural earthquake damage in simple terms and to provide methods for reducing potential risks.
It includes descriptions of all teams, procedures for each phase of the emergency, and many form templates. However, with proper training and planning in advance, everyone in your school community can be prepared to react appropriately during and after an earthquake, with appropriate supplies on hand.
Geological Survey, shows which areas are most likely to be shaken by earthquakes, and where earthquake hazards are low. The assigned team (as delegated in the NIMS Command System) is responsible for the procurement, storage, and maintenance of specific supplies for earthquake preparedness.

One simple qualification for a Search and Rescue team to enter a damaged building is that it needs to have all four walls and its roof, and should not be leaning at an extreme angle. ABOUT PREPARE NORCALThe San Francisco Bay Area is a region that is highly vulnerable to natural hazards like earthquakes, wildfires, and severe weather. Collaborating with community partners to develop plans and protocols to prepare for the possibility that the identified hazards, vulnerabilities or emergencies will occur.
If you are in an area where earthquakes are frequent, you likely have already included earthquakes in your overall emergency plan. Because of differences between the structure of the earth under western states compared to central and eastern states, earthquakes in the west shake smaller areas than similarly-sized earthquakes to the east. Some states have special guidelines for public school construction, yet requirements for private or charter schools may be less strict. Because your school's water supply may be out of service for many days, emergency water is a very important item to consider when preparing for an emergency. The Earthquake Country Alliance (California) has developed a special report on what to do during earthquakes, and what not to do.
Once the earthquake has happened and the shaking has stopped, then your plan will likely include evacuating classrooms and administrative offices to central assembly area(s), wherever you go for fire drills. After shaking stops, assess your room for any dangers (broken glass, fallen items, fire, chemical spills, etc.). Instruct students so they know that if there is an earthquake when they are outside of a classroom (such as during break or lunch), they should exit with the nearest class and should NOT go back inside.
Fires often start in the aftermath of an earthquake because of ruptured gas lines, the content of rooms, things left cooking on the stove, and electrical fires. Know where your emergency supplies are located, make sure they are sufficient for your needs, and are not expired. FEMA 395 has been developed to provide school administrators with the information necessary to assess the seismic vulnerability of their buildings, and to implement a program of incremental seismic rehabilitation for those buildings. Part A, Critical Decisions for Earthquake Safety in Schools, is for superintendents, board members, business managers, principals, and other policy makers who will decide on allocating resources for earthquake mitigation.
Part B, Managing the Process for Earthquake Risk Reduction in Existing School Buildings, is for school district facility managers, risk managers, and financial managers who will initiate and manage seismic mitigation measures. This comprehensive publication identifies potential earthquake hazards associated with nonstructural components of school buildings, and provides detailed instructions for mitigating those hazards. Includes model preparedness surveys, letters to parents, memos to faculty and staff, preparation and supply guidelines, model emergency response roles and responsibilities, drill evaluation forms and more. This document is a template for preparing safe school plans; Volume 2 covers multihazard emergency preparedness and response. This guide covers all aspects of emergency and crisis planning, with useful recommendations for managing response (section 4) and recovery process (section 5)), including examples from schools and districts.
The American Red Cross: Prepare Bay AreaThe Prepare Bay Area initiative supports YOU with information, materials, and tips on getting prepared for disasters. Marin County Schools Emergency Preparedness ServicesOnline resources for school disaster planners to improve emergency response procedures in local schools. Not only may you experience damage from earthquakes centered further away, but if your school or district is in the central or eastern U.S. Because of damage here and to many other schools, the Field Act was passed quickly by California to reduce future school damage. Because earthquakes strike without warning, students and staff must know how to protect themselves with little or no time for instruction.
The guidance notes consist of four components: 1) General information and advocacy points addressing the need and rationale for safer school buildings, along with success stories and list a number of essential guiding principles and strategies for overcoming common challenges.
A school built in California may have stricter requirements than one built in New York, where earthquakes are less frequent and less intense.
While fire and earthquake drills are often held separately, in a real earthquake a fire may be started such that during the shaking the concern is falling items but immediately after the concern may shift to fire evacuation. For example, a cargo container of emergency supplies is on every school campus in Los Angeles Unified School District. The activity focuses on earthquakes because earthquake preparedness means preparedness for all types of emergencies. Likewise, planning how your school community will respond to an earthquake will identify key resources that must be prepared in advance, whereby recovery will be much faster as a result of proper execution of the other phases. First responders may take longer to arrive, needed resources (for response as well as for repairing damage) may be limited, and much of your population may leave the area permanently. Since nonstructural failures have accounted for the majority of earthquake damage in several recent U.S.
4) A broad list of references to resources for more detailed, technical and context-specific information.
ABC7 has gathered resources and tips to make it easier for you to access preparedness information all in one place. Earthquake shaking can damage any building, but some are more likely to be damaged severely (such as brick buildings or others built before modern building codes.

A resource entitled, Guide and Checklist for Non-Structural Earthquake Hazards in California Schools, is a comprehensive publication which identifies potential earthquake hazards associated with nonstructural components of school buildings and further provides detailed instructions for mitigating those hazards. For this reason, personnel must be trained in the implementation of NIMS, and in particular the Incident Command System (ICS), a standardized approach within Command and Management.
Two important factors must be considered for emergency supplies: a secure storage location and an adequate amount of supplies. The Arkansas School Earthquake Preparedness Guidebook has an excellent list of equipment and supplies for various teams. It may require the most storage space, but is essential for drinking and also needed for sanitation and perhaps cooling.
Moving can be very difficult during strong shaking, and the periphery of buildings is the most dangerous place for falling building components, especially in brick buildings. The Bay Area Earthquake Alliance, which is composed of 183 member groups and organizations, coordinates earthquake awareness and preparedness activities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Extensive documentation and resources for school implementation of NIMS are available from the REMS Technical Assistance Center. This lesson provides an overview of school earthquake preparedness and provides resources for use in incorporating earthquakes into your overall emergency plans. However as the image shows, earthquake hazard is higher along the west coast and Alaska, because of tectonic plate boundaries where slow shifting of plates causes faults to rupture into larger earthquakes, which are more frequent.
Because such a quake could cause hundreds of deaths, leave thousands homeless, and devastate the region’s economy, the USGS and other organizations are working together with new urgency to help prepare Bay Area communities for this certain future quake. The Central United States has a moderate to high earthquake hazard becuause of its history of earthquake activity, especially a series of large earthquakes from 1811 to 1812. The east coast has occasional moderate-sized earthquakes and rare larger earthquake events, as compared to its west coast counterpart (i.e. SAFE WATER SOURCES IN THE HOMEIf you do not have enough water stored, there are sources in your home that may provide safe, clean water for drinking purposes: the water drained from the water heater faucet (if the water heater has not been damaged), water dipped from the tank of the toilet (not the bowl - the water in the bowl can be used for pets) or melted ice cubes. The overall probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake striking the Greater Bay Area in the next 30 years is 63 percent. Preparing now will help you survive and recover and get back to normal after the next damaging earthquake.CEA's new alliance with the American Red Cross can help you take simple steps to be ready when the time comes-- We're in this together, Northern California, so get prepared! Start building your kit with this detailed list of supplies and make sure you have the Red Cross Earthquake Safety Checklist.MAKE A PLANIdentify out-of-area emergency contacts. Write your plan on an emergency contact card and store in your phone along with important numbers for emergency resources in your area. Make sure know how the notification systems in your area work.EARTHQUAKE INSURANCEMost residential insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage - a separate earthquake policy is required.
Without earthquake insurance to help cover the costs of repairs and other expenses that come with catastrophic damage, you will pay out-of-pocket to fix your home, to replace your personal property, and to live and eat elsewhere. Five reasons to buy:If your home suffers catastrophic earthquake damage, the CEA can provide you with the strength to rebuild. With nearly $10 billion in claim-paying power, supported by the service expertise of its participating insurance companies, the CEA could cover all of its claims if the 1906 San Francisco, 1989 Loma Prieta, or 1994 Northridge earthquake reoccurred today.Excellent financial ratings. CEA rates are based on the best available science for assessing earthquake risk and do not include any amount for profit.Not tied to government budgets.
California's budget issues have no impact on the CEA's ability to pay its claims, because the CEA is a privately financed entity and receives no money through the state budget.Without earthquake insurance, the cost of any damage is your cost.
If your CEA policy claim exceeds your deductible, you don't actually have to pay the deductible before claim-payment eligibility is triggered.Read more about CEA earthquake insurance policies and premiums and to see a list of insurance companies that sell CEA earthquake insurance. PRACTICE HOW TO DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON During an earthquake, know how to drop to the ground, take cover under sturdy furniture, and hold on to that furniture until after the shaking stops.
Learn about Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, annual opportunities to practice what to do during an earthquake.SECURE YOUR HOME'S STRUCTURE AND CONTENTSMake sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
Find out about the threats and hazards in your area.California Earthquake AuthorityGet peace of mind. For chemical spills, airborne illnesses or biological hazards, be prepared to Shelter-in-Place if needed. First check yourself for injuries then assist others based on your level of first aid training.
Do not use a gas stove for heating or operate generators indoors (including the garage.) Both could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster.AlertSFAlertSF is a text-based notification system for San Francisco's residents and visitors.

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