In light of the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the Napa Valley region last Sunday, the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) is reminding homeowners to follow earthquake safety measures so they will be prepared when another earthquake strikes again.

“Majority of Californians live within 20 miles of a major earthquake fault, yet most of us tend to be lackadaisical about earthquake safety. Being prepared could save your life,” stressed SILVAR President David Tonna.

According to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, major earthquakes registering magnitudes between 6.3 and 8.3 have occurred in California every 5.4 years, on average, for the past 200 years. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there is a 90 percent chance that a major earthquake will strike an urban area in California within the next 30 years.

Additionally, a 2010 California Earthquake Preparedness Survey conducted by the UCLA School of Public Health found fewer than 20 percent of households have structurally reinforced their homes or had their homes inspected for earthquake resistance; only 40 percent keep the recommended minimum of three gallons of water stored per person; and only 40 percent of Californians have made family disaster plans.

SILVAR shares the following important earthquake safety measures from FEMA’s Ready Campaign site, California’s Department of Conservation and the U.S. Geological Survey:
Identify Potential Hazards in Your Home and Fix Them
• START NOW by moving furniture away from beds, sofas, or other places where people sit, sleep, or spend a lot of time. Move heavy objects to lower shelves. Move flammable or hazardous materials stored in garages and utility rooms to low, more secure areas.

• Retrofitting before an earthquake is relatively cheap, and could reduce damage and save you money.

Create a Disaster Supply Kit and keep it in an easily accessible location.
• First aid supplies, with medications not requiring refrigeration, including spare eyeglasses and essential hygiene items
• Drinking water (minimum one gallon per person per day)
• Whistle (to alert rescuers to your location)
• Emergency cash in small bills (ATMs may not work)
• Snack foods high in calories, canned and packaged foods and cooking utensils, including a manual can opener. Include food and a leash or carrier for your pet.
• A working flashlight with extra batteries.
• Baby formula, disposable diapers, baby wipes, bottles, pacifiers, powdered milk for infants and comfort items for your children, like stuffed animals and other toys
• A battery-operated radio (and spare batteries).
• Warm clothing, gloves, sturdy shoes, extra socks, blankets/sleeping bags
• Heavy-duty plastic bags for waste and other uses
• A-B-C type fire extinguisher
• Copies of vital documents, such as insurance policies, personal identification, medical consent forms for dependents.
Replace perishable items on a yearly basis.

Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan
Decide how and where your family will reunite if separated during a quake. Select an out-of-state friend or relative to call and alert other relatives and friends that you are all right.

During an Earthquake, Drop! Cover! and Hold On!
You cannot tell from the initial shaking of an earthquake if it will suddenly become intense, so drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to your shelter until the shaking stops.