Earthquake Safety Resource Center
Available for All California Businesses
Pleasanton, CA--With two earthquakes striking the Bay Area overnight, just three days before the 30-year anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake, it’s an important reminder for all Californians to prepare. State Fund’s Earthquake Safety Resource Center, available at SafeAtWorkCA.com, provides materials to help employers and employees learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Visitors will find preparedness checklists, information on what to do in specific situations, and tips on how to ready their workplace for an earthquake.
“Given the recent earthquakes in the Bay area, we’d like to remind California businesses of the importance of preparing your workplace and your employees for the next event,” said State Fund Senior Vice President of Safety and Health Services Lauren Mayfield. “We’ve recently added to the resources at SafeAtWorkCA.com to help keep California workers safe before, during, and after an earthquake.”
Earthquakes Occur Without Warning: Important Preparedness Tips
By: Tim Rhatigan, UnitedHealthcare of California
Earthquakes are unfortunately a common occurrence, especially in places with high seismicity, such as California. Because earthquakes occur without warning, it’s important to take steps to prepare.
The Red Cross and FEMA offer tips for a safety checklist to know what to do before, during and after an earthquake. Here are additional reminders of what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.
Before an Earthquake
- Create an earthquake readiness plan with your household. Everyone in your family should know what to do and where to go as soon as they feel the vibrations of an earthquake, as well as a common place to reunite after an earthquake in case there is limited or no means of communication.
- Be prepared with an earthquake kit comprised of water, food, medications, a first-aid kit, bandages for injuries, a flashlight, batteries, a radio, blankets, a pair of sturdy shoes, a change of clothes and other personal items. Because you don’t know where you will be when an earthquake occurs, prepare a kit for your home, workplace and your car.
- In your emergency kit, include copies of important documents – such as insurance policies, financial records, credit card numbers, medical insurance cards, a list of medications and prescriptions, plus phone numbers and addresses for key contacts. Also include a small amount of cash, as ATMs, banks, and credit card systems may not be operating.
- Be sure you know how to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your home. A multi-function tool may be needed.
- Choose an “earthquake safe location” to take cover in every room of your house, office, school or any place that you go to on a regular basis. This location should be away from windows and any furniture that could fall on you.
What to Do During an Earthquake
- Drop down to your knees and cover your head and neck with your arms or an object so that you are protected from any debris or furniture falling during the earthquake.
- Stay away from windows and furniture that can fall on you, such as book cases and televisions.
- If possible, go to your identified “safe location” or find a wall near the center of the building or house you are in, take cover in a doorway, or crawl under a heavy piece of furniture, such as a desk or table.
- If you are outside, get away from anything that could fall on you, such as trees, powerlines, buildings and houses.
- If you are in a car, pull over to a spot that is away from trees, powerlines and buildings. Wait in the car until the shaking stops.
After an Earthquake
- Once the shaking has stopped, if you are in an unsafe area (ceiling has collapsed, exposed electrical wires, broken glass, gas or smoke odor), find the safest way to evacuate to an open space or take shelter in another area of the building.
- Check your water, gas and electric lines for any damage. If they are damaged, shut off the valves. If you can smell gas, open all your doors and windows and leave your home immediately. Report a broken gas line to the authorities as soon as possible.
- Do not use candles, matches or any open flames as a source of light. Earthquakes often result in broken gas lines, which should not be mixed with open flames.
- Only use your phone for emergencies. You will want to save your battery for as long as possible.
Caltrans Plans for Power Outages Over Wildfire Concerns
Motorists Should Treat Non-Working Signals as All-Way Stops
MARYSVILLE — Caltrans is preparing for widespread power outages beginning late afternoon Wednesday if PG&E cuts power to reduce the risk of wildfire.
Due to severe wind concerns in Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sierra, Sutter, and Yuba Counties, PG&E may potentially cut power beginning late afternoon Wednesday, October 23 through the afternoon Thursday, October 24.
Motorists are reminded that the California Department of Motor Vehicle Driver Handbook mandates that non-working (dark) and flashing red traffic signals be treated as all-way stops during power outages. Drivers should proceed with caution through intersections and observe right-of-way rules.
Throughout District 3, traffic signals contain battery backups, which typically last 3 to 4 hours before becoming non-operational. Additional measures may be implemented at signals during power outages including generators or stop signs. However, motorists should be prepared for all-way stops at non-lighted signals during power outages.
To illustrate the safest way to navigate an intersection during times with no power, Caltrans Public Affairs developed a Caltrans News Flash, which can be viewed here: bit.ly/CT_News_Flash_211.
PG&E customers are also encouraged to sign up for electrical outage alerts and review current outage maps via its website.
Caltrans District 3 maintains more than 4,385 lanes miles of state highway in 11 Sacramento Valley and Northern Sierra counties. The department issues updates about road conditions on Twitter and on Facebook. For real-time traffic information, go tohttp://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or download the free Caltrans QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.
California's Wildfire Crisis: A Call to Action
California’s cherished forests are imperiled and our well-being is in jeopardy. Recent extreme wildfires are the catastrophic consequence of a century of inadequate land management, boom-and-bust timber harvests, drought, insects, and climate change.
The threat is so massive and growing so rapidly that we must act with urgency and in fundamentally different ways. In addition to the State’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness and response, California communities and entrepreneurs need to be fully engaged to implement sustainable forest thinning strategies and put woody material to ecologically sound and economically viable uses.
California's Wildfire Crisis: A Call to Action, a report by CA Fwd and the California Economic Summit, lays out the case for taking action against a primary cause of wildfires, the challenges to resolving the crisis, and action principles needed to create a comprehensive triple-bottom line public-private response.
The report will be discussed at the upcoming 2019 California Economic Summit in Fresno November 7 and 8, where participants will also explore regional approaches to a range of challenges, from workforce to working landscapes, homelessness to housing, and manufacturing to mobility.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf car and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, reminds home and business owners to keep safety in mind when using generators.
“Not having power when you need it is frustrating, so a generator can provide emergency backup power at a reasonable cost,” says Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “It’s important to follow all manufacturer’s instructions, and never place a generator in your garage or inside your home or building. It should be a safe distance from the structure and not near an air intake.”
Additional tips include:
#1 - Take stock of your generator. Make sure equipment is in good working order before starting and using it.
#2 – Review the directions. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions. Review the owner’s manuals (look manuals up online if you cannot find them) so equipment is operated safely.
#3 - Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home. This alarm will sound if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide enter the building.
#4 - Have the right fuel on hand. Use the type of fuel recommended by the generator manufacturer to protect this important investment. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. (For more information on proper fueling for outdoor power equipment visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com). It’s best to use fresh fuel, but if you are using fuel that has been sitting in a gas can for more than 30 days, add fuel stabilizer to it. Store gas only in an approved container and away from heat sources.
#5 - Ensure portable generators have plenty of ventilation. Generators should NEVER be used in an enclosed area or placed inside a home, a building, or a garage, even if the windows or doors are open. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to drift indoors.
#6 - Keep the generator dry. Do not use a generator in wet conditions. Cover and vent a generator. Model-specific tents or generator covers can be found online for purchase and at home centers and hardware stores.
#7 - Only add fuel to a cool generator. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.
#8 -Plug in safely. If you don’t yet have a transfer switch, you can use the outlets on the generator. It’s best to plug in appliances directly to the generator. If you must use an extension cord, it should be heavy-duty and designed for outdoor use. It should be rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Make sure the cord is free of cuts, and the plug has all three prongs.
#9 - Install a transfer switch. A transfer switch connects the generator to the circuit panel and lets you power hardwired appliances. Most transfer switches also help avoid overload by displaying wattage usage levels.
#10 - Do not use the generator to “backfeed” power into your home electrical system. Trying to power your home’s electrical wiring by “backfeeding” – where you plug the generator into a wall outlet – is dangerous. You could hurt utility workers and neighbors served by the same transformer. Backfeeding bypasses built-in circuit protection devices, so you could damage your electronics or start an electrical fire.
Federal, State and Local Officials to Discuss Flood Preparedness
SACRAMENTO, Calif. –The Department of Water Resources (DWR), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and San Joaquin County are joining forces this week to encourage Californians to be prepared for flood season and to share the latest on California’s flood management efforts. Taking the right steps now can mean all the difference when flooding occurs.
California’s winter storm season begins next month. Recent wildfires and the impacts of climate change make it more important than ever for the public to be “Flood Ready.” DWR and its partners are using Flood Preparedness Week to share the latest on the state’s flood management efforts and encourage Californians to be ready for the flood season.