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Oklahoma has had an increased number of earthquakes in recent years, including the record-breaking 5.6 magnitude earthquake that occurred on Saturday, November 6, 2011. To stay safe before, during and after an earthquake, take the following precautions:
Before an earthquake
- Assemble an emergency preparedness kit for home and your vehicle.
- Have a family emergency plan and identify a safe place to take cover, such as under a sturdy table or desk.
- Teach your family how to “Drop, Cover and Hold” during an earthquake.
- Check for hazards inside or outside your home or office. Heavy objects and falling hazards such as bookcases, hanging picture frames and other items can be dangerous if they are unstable and not anchored securely to a wall or the floor.
- Know emergency telephone numbers.
- Contact your insurance agent to review existing policies and to inquire about earthquake insurance
- Sign up for Earthquake Notifications on the USGS site as well as learn about other products and services they offer.
During an earthquake
- “Drop, Cover and Hold” - DROP to the floor; take COVER under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
- Stay away from glass or bookshelves, mirrors or other items that could fall.
- If outside: stand in an open area away from underpasses and overpasses, buildings, trees, telephone, and electrical lines.
- If on the road: drive away from underpasses and overpasses; stop in a safe area; stay in your vehicle.
After an earthquake
- Check for injuries and provide first aid if necessary.
- Do a safety check: check for gas, water, downed power lines and shortages. Turn off appropriate utilities, if you shut off the main gas valve do not turn it back on yourself. Wait for the gas company to check for leaks and make repairs.
- Turn on the radio and listen for instructions on safety or recovery actions.
- Use the telephone for emergencies only.
- When safe follow your family emergency plan.
- Be cautious when opening cabinets.
- Stay away from damaged areas.
- Be prepared for aftershocks.
- If you are able to, log onto the USGS site and fill out a “Did you feel it?” form.
For additional information on individual, family and community preparedness you may visit the following websites:
CENTRAL UNITED STATES EARTHQUAKE CONSORTIUM
Oklahoma serves as an Associate State in the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), a coalition of eight Member States that work closely to coordinate activities related to earthquake awareness, mitigation, planning and the application of earthquake research. As an Associate States, Oklahoma acts as a support and information resource to the CUSEC Member States in the event of a damaging central United States earthquake. While Oklahoma may not be directly impacted by an earthquake, the state can provide valuable resources to other States, if necessary.
About Central United States Earthquake Consortium:
Established in 1983 with funding support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, CUSEC's primary mission is, "... the reduction of deaths, injuries, property damage and economic losses resulting from earthquakes in the Central United States." CUSEC is a partnership of the federal government and the eight states most affected by earthquakes in the central United States. Those states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.
CUSEC serves as a "coordinating hub" for the region, performing the critical role of coordinating the multi-state efforts of the central region. Its coordinating role is largely facilitative and not as the primary implementer of emergency management functions which is the responsibility of each individual state.
For more information, visit www.cusec.org