The Bay Area has experienced a few good shakes recently, with earthquakes in the East Bay and Sierra Foothills. Luckily, they didn’t appear to damage much more than the nerves of the people who experienced them. While earthquakes are unpredictable, there are several ways to prepare for ‘the big one.’

The Red Cross provides several resources for earthquake preparedness and other natural disasters:

Be prepared.

Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit with water, food, first aid kit, important documents and other essentials.

Secure any tall furniture, cabinets, water heaters, or gas appliance by bolting and bracing them to the wall.

Learn fire evacuation and eathquake procedures for work, home, and any other buildings you occupy regularly.

Protect yourself during an earthquake

If you are inside:

Drop to the ground and find cover under a piece of sturdy furniture or sit on the floor next to an interior wall using your hands and arms to protect your head.

If you’re in bed, stay there. Curl up and put your pillow over your head for protection.

Get away from windows. They could shatter.

If you are outside:

Find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and powerlines. Stay there until the shaking stops.

If you’re in a car, pull over and stop. Stay in the car with your seatbelt on until the shaking stops.

Don’t fall for common misconceptions.

Don’t stand in a doorway. Doorways are no stronger than any other part of the structure. Instead, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on, this will help protect you from any falling objects.

Don’t go outside. If you are indoors, stay there until the shaking stops. If you need to exit the building after, make sure to use stairs instead of an elevator.

A Safety Checklist is available for download here.

Are you prepared for “The Big One”? Share your safety tips and earthquake experiences in the comments section.

Photo Credit: Photoxity