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Prepare Yourself and Your Family for an Earthquake

prepare for an earthquake

Do You Know What to do When the Shaking Starts?

Important Information to Think About When Preparing for an Earthquake

In California, most of us live near a long stretch of fault line called the San Andreas Fault. When this tectonic boundary moves, the result is an earthquake. Many times when the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate move, California residents don’t feel or hardly feel the effect. But, there is always chance when living on or near a fault line for disastrous earthquakes to occur. Large shift events can damage homes, roadways, and large equipment like propane tanks. The most important element of safety when preparing for an earthquake is to know how and where to take cover. Additionally, the information below should also be shared with family members and anyone you may be in contact with when the shaking occurs.

Safety Tips To Prevent Bodily Injury

  • Duck and cover – If you are inside a building and you feel the earth moving, immediately take over under a sturdy object like a heavy table, counter, or desk. Protect your head and face while holding onto the object until trembling stops.
  • Stay Inside – It may be your first instinct to run outside when you start to feel an earthquake. You may be thinking that it’s less likely something will fall on you outside. This is not the case, however. Outdoors there is the chance that buildings, trees, power lines, or other large stationary items can fall on you. If you are already outside when the shaking starts, be aware of your surroundings! Drop down to the ground and cover your head and face.

Safety Tips Related to your Propane Tank

  • Know what propane smells like – Propane in its natural state is odorless, therefore, an odorant is added as an additional safety precaution. The distinct smell is that of rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray.
  • Consider anchoring your propane tank – When an earthquake starts, your propane tank may become dislodged from its footing. It is a smart idea to either anchor or brace your tank to help prevent falling, sliding, or moving.
  • Clear the area around your tank – Remove any tall or heavy objects that can fall on your tank during an earthquake.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector – CO is a colorless, odorless gas that can prove deadly. It is recommended that you install a CO detector on each level of your home. Also remember to NEVER use propane appliances intended for outdoor use, indoors. Such appliances can include portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators.
  • When earthquake danger has passed, carefully evaluate your property and schedule a complete inspection with a certified Delta Liquid Energy service technician – As the homeowner or renter, it is recommended that you visually inspect your propane tank, your appliances, and check your property for major damages or downed power lines. Never attempt to turn on your gas supply or repair any equipment on your own! This is a job for the professionals; call your local DLE office and schedule a time for our service technicians to come out to your property and assist you.

Additional Resources to help prepare for an earthquake:
Earthquake Tips From the Propane Education and Research Council
Propane Education and Research Council’s Earthquake Safety Brochure