Skip Navigation

Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without warning. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and planning in advance can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake.

Before an Earthquake

Make sure all family members know how to respond after an earthquake. Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water. Teach children how and when to call 911, police, or fire   and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

In case family members a re separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.” After a disaster, it is often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

A cracked roadway after an earthquake.

Precautions in Your Home

Install anchor bolts to better connect your home to its foundation.

Bolt or strap shelves, cupboards and bookcases to the wall.

Use flexible conduits and connectors for electrical and gas appliances.

Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.

Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.

Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches and other seating areas. 

Brace overhead light fixtures.

Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks.

Secure a water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.

Repair any deep cracks in foundations or  ceilings. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.

Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.

In the event of an earthquake, remember to drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or piece of furniture, and hold on until the shaking stops.
 During an Earthquake
If you're indoors:
  • Take cover under a piece of heavy   furniture or against an inside wall and hold on. The most dangerous thing to do during the shaking of an earthquake is to try to leave the building, because objects can fall on you.
If you're outdoors:
  • Move into the open, away from buildings, street lights and utility wires. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.
If you're in a moving vehicle:
  • If in a moving vehicle, stop quickly and stay in the vehicle. Move to a clear area away from buildings, trees, overpasses, or utility wires. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.
Post earthquake, be prepared for aftershocks. Although smaller than the main shock, aftershocks cause additional damage and may bring weakened structures down. Aftershocks can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
Escambia Countuy Logo

The mission of Escambia County government is to provide efficient, responsive services that enhance our quality of life, meet common needs and promote a safe and healthy community.

Under Florida law, IP addresses and both the content of emails and email addresses are public records. If you do not want your IP address and the content of your email or your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in person.

All content © 2023 Escambia County, FL and its representatives. All rights reserved.