Disaster Tip Sheet: Earthquakes

Disaster Tip Sheets: Earthquakes

Preparing Your Health for Earthquakes

  • View Healthcare Ready’s blog on the refill-too-soon laws by state.
  • Keep heavy items in your home secured
  • Keep a list of your local healthcare facilities, with addresses, phone numbers, and emails/websites
  • Consider these facilities: Hospitals/ERs
    • Pharmacies
    • Urgent care clinics
    • Ancillary care:
      • Dialysis Centers, Cancer Treatment Centers
  • Practice the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” steps to take during an earthquake
    • Drop: Drop on your hands and knees (If you use a walker or wheelchair, use this step to lock your wheels)
    • Cover: Cover your head or get under a table if you are able (If you use a walker or wheelchair, sit on your walker or crouch your torso down towards the wheelchair and cover your head)
    • Hold on: Hold on to a steady surface or, if you are unable to, hold on to your neck with locked hands
  • Keep a “go-bag” of emergency supplies ready, including your medications
    • Suggested items: first aid kit, flashlight, portable radio, NOAA weather radio, batteries, whistle, blankets, sanitation items, important documents, and cash if possible
    • Pack all medications in a resealable, waterproof bag
  • Plan for any chronic conditions you may have
    • Diabetes: Talk to your pharmacist about keeping a supply of insulin on hand – Try to refrain from eating sugar and other carbohydrates
    • Kidney disease: Make sure you have access to dialysis treatment and use the renal diet
    • Cardiovascular disease & hypertension: Try to refrain from high-salt and fatty food and aim for 30 minutes of activity a day to manage your blood pressure
    • Pulmonary disease: Work with your supplier to understand options for keeping resupplies of oxygen with you
    • Disability: Develop alternative transportation plans and identify a trusted caretaker if necessary
    • Aging: Post emergency numbers near every house phone and cellular phone
    • Asthma: Have a plan to ensure you have a supply of your asthma medications and supplies
    • Cancer: If you have a cancer survivorship care plan, keep a copy handy and take steps to lower your risk for infections
  • Keep a list of helpful hotlines
    • Healthcare Ready: 1-866-247-2694
    • FEMA Disaster Assistance Helpline: 1-800-621-3362
    • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (or text “TalkWithUS” to 66746)
    • Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER): 1-866-901-3773
    • Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767
    • American Diabetes Association: 1-800-342-2283
    • American Heart Association: 1-800-242-8721
    • American Association of People with Disabilities: 1-800-840-8844
    • American Stroke Association: 1-888-478-7653

Recovering from an Earthquake

  •  Be mindful of aftershocks that are likely to come after the earthquake and can be nearly as powerful
  • Check home for damages and gas leaks
  • Use caution when cleaning up debris and don’t overexert yourselfAlways wear gloves, masks, and protective eyewear, and beware of glass, nails, and other sharp objects
    • If you are cut or scraped, clean and disinfect the wound thoroughly and keep it covered, especially if you have cancer or are otherwise immunocompromised
  • Contact family and friends to let them know you are safe
    • Check in on your loved ones that may need support
    • Use text messages instead of phone calls because phone lines might be down
  • Check with your health insurance provider for emergency support resources and hotlines
    • Start by calling the number on the back of your insurance card for assistance
    • If you don’t have insurance, call 2-1-1 and ask about local services that may be able to help
  • If there is a disaster declaration, you can also try to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance for financial support by calling 800-621-3362 or visiting DisasterAssistance.gov

Download our Earthquake Tip Sheet here:

This Tip Sheet was created thanks to the generous support of Eli Lilly



Sign up for updates and alerts