It is important for Reno residents to be prepared in the event of an earthquake. Learn about earthquakes, how to prepare an earthquake kit and what you should do to protect yourself during an earthquake.
Every home should have an emergency kit with supplies to meet the basic survival needs of the occupants for three days to a week.
How to store your Earthquake Kit
Emergency supplies can be stored in a trash can with a cover, plastic storage container, suitcase, duffle bag, backpack, footlocker or individual pack.
What to include in your Earthquake Kit
- Non-perishable food items such as ready-to-eat items in unbreakable containers, canned meats, juice, fruits and vegetables, powdered milk, infant care foods, crackers, peanut butter, freeze-dried and dehydrated goods
- Enough bottled water to provide a minimum of 1-gallon per person per day.
- Battery-powered radio
- First aid kit and manual
- Sleeping bags and wool/thermal blankets
- Manual can opener
- Waterproof/windproof matches
- Flashlight and spare batteries
- Water purification tablets
- Utility knife
- Emergency candles
- Extra eyeglasses/contact lenses
- Essential medications
- Extra clothing
Additional Sanitation Items
- Plastic bucket with tight fitting lid
- Plastic bags and ties
- Improvised toilet set
- Paper cups and plates
- Personal toiletries and hygiene products
- Baby/infant supplies
- Aluminum foil
- Paper towels
- Plastic utensils
- Work gloves
Think about your pets
Families also need to provide for the care of pets during emergencies by making sure there is sufficient dry pet food kept in tightly sealed containers, having a large capacity self-feeder for food and one for water, as well as extra medications.
Preparations for emergencies should also include secured but accessible copies of marriage licenses, home mortgage, property and vehicle ownership papers, insurance documents, wills, jewelry or other appraisals, birth certificates, bank account information and any other documents that may be needed following a catastrophic event.
For more information about emergency preparedness and fire prevention, contact the Reno Fire Department’s Division of Fire Prevention at 775-334-2300.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends the following advice on what to do during an earthquake.
- DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
- Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
- Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
- Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
- DO NOT use the elevators.
- Stay there. Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
- Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.
- The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
If in a moving vehicle
- Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
- Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
If trapped under debris
- Do not light a match.
- Do not move about or kick up dust.
- Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
- Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers the following advice on what to do after an earthquake.
- Expect aftershocks - these secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television. Listen for the latest emergency information.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
- Open cabinets cautiously - beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
- Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
- Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
- Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
- Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
- Inspect utilities.
- Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
- Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
- Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.