Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Public Safety

How To Prepare For An Earthquake: Fire Officials' Reminder

In response to the Imperial Valley earthquake swarm that was felt in parts of San Diego County, fire officials today issued a reminder on how to prepare for an emergency.

"It's best to think first about the basics of survival -- fresh water, food, clean air and warmth,'' San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Assistant Chief Ronnie Hicks said a day after the rash of quakes about 115 miles east-northeast of San Diego overwhelmed U.S. Geological Survey seismographs.

Some buildings were evacuated in Brawley, in Imperial County, near where the quakes struck Sunday. Light damage from the temblors, two with magnitudes 5.5 and 5.3, was reported in the area.


A national study conducted earlier this year found only about a third of households have a disaster emergency plan that all family members know about or an emergency kit, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Fire officials recommended that a basic emergency supply kit contain one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days; at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food; a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA weather radio; and extra batteries for both.

The kit should also include a flashlight with extra batteries, a cell phone and a charger, a first-aid kit, whistle, dust mask, moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties, according to the SDFRD, which also recommends a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, a can opener and local maps be included.

The San Diego County emergency website states that residents in San Diego, Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside counties could feel additional quakes and the seismic swarms could continue, although diminish in magnitude and frequency, over the next several weeks.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.