Infants and Toddlers
Special emphasis should be placed on making the environment as safe as possible.
- Place cribs away from windows and tall, unsecured furniture that could slide or topple.
- Store a minimum of a 72-hour supply of water, formula, bottles, food, juices, clothing, diapers, baby wipes and prescribed medications where they are most likely to be accessible after a disaster. Also keep a store of these items in your car.
- Store strollers, wagons, blankets and cribs with appropriate wheels to evacuate infants, if necessary.
- Install bumper pads in cribs or bassinets to protect babies during the shaking that accompanies an earthquake or explosion.
- Install latches on all cupboards (not just those young children can reach) so that nothing can fall on your baby during a quake and they cannot get to hazards that are stored there.
Preschool/School-age Children and Earthquakes
By age three or so, children can understand what an earthquake is and how to get ready for one. Take the time to explain what causes earthquakes in terms they understand. Include your children in family discussions and planning for earthquake safety.
- Conduct drills and review safety procedures every six months.
- Show children the safest places to be in each room when an earthquake hits. Also show them all possible exits from each room.
- Use sturdy tables to teach children to Duck, Cover & Hold.
- Teach children what to do wherever they are during an earthquake (at school, in a tall building, outdoors).
- Make sure children's emergency cards at school are current.
- Although children should not turn off any utility valves, it's important that they know what gas smells like. Advise children to tell an adult if they smell gas after an earthquake.
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