Earthquakes

 

Hazard rank in the 2021 Clinton County Hazard Mitigation Plan (1 highest priority to 16 lowest priority): 16 (and could also result in 2 Utility Failure, 5 Hazardous Materials release, and/or 13 Dam Failure).​

An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides or avalanches. While they can happen anywhere without warning, areas at higher risk for earthquakes include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington and the entire Mississippi River Valley.

Prepare BEFORE an Earthquake:

The best time to prepare for any disaster is before it happens.  This is often called blue sky (before the dark storm clouds arrive). 

  • Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On with family and coworkers.

  • Make an Emergency Plan: Create a family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-state contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated. Make a supply kit that includes enough food and water for several days, a flashlight, a fire extinguisher and a whistle.

    • Being prepared allows you to avoid unnecessary excursions and to address minor medical issues at home, alleviating the burden on urgent care centers and hospitals.

    • Remember that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases and slowly building up supplies in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips.

  • Protect Your Home: Secure heavy items in your home like bookcases, refrigerators, televisions and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves. Consider making improvements to your building to fix structural issues that could cause your building to collapse during an earthquake. Consider obtaining an earthquake insurance policy. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover earthquake damage.​

DURING an Earthquake

  • If you are in a car, pull over and stop. Set your parking brake.

  • If you are in bed, turn face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow.

  • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors away from buildings.

  • If you are inside, stay and do not run outside and avoid doorways.

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Stay Safe AFTER:

After an earthquake, there can be serious hazards such as damage to the building, leaking gas and water lines, or downed power lines.​

  • Expect aftershocks to follow the main shock of an earthquake. Be ready to Drop, Cover, and Hold On if you feel an aftershock.

  • If you are in a damaged building, go outside and quickly move away from the building. Do not enter damaged buildings.

  • If you are trapped, send a text or band on a pip or wall. 

  • Check yourself to see if you are hurt and help others if you have training.  Learn how to be the help until help arrives.

  • Once you are safe, pay attention to local news reports for emergency information and instructions via battery-powered radio, TV, social media or from cell phone emergency alerts.

  • Register on the American Red Cross "Safe and Well" website so people will know you are okay.

  • Use text messages to communicate, which may be more reliable than phone calls.

  • Be careful when cleaning up. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves and sturdy thick-soled shoes. Do not try to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet while working with someone else. Use an appropriate mask if cleaning mold or other debris. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work.

Resources

Interactive Map of Earthquakes in Ohio (link).

History of Ohio Earthquakes (link).

The Ohio Seismic Network (link).

When the Earth Shakes (video).

Earthquake Preparedness (video).

Earthquake Video Series [Great Shake Out Earthquake Drills] (video play list)​.

Earthquake Tip Sheet (PDF).

How to Prepare for an Earthquake (PDF).

Earthquake Preparedness: What every Child Care Provider Needs to Know (PDF).

Earthquake Safety at Home (PDF).