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What Can I Do to Prepare for an Earthquake?

January 29, 2020

Earthquakes can happen without warning and result in injuries and damages to property and infrastructure. Now is the best time to prepare for any disaster, before it happens. Disasters do not plan ahead, but we can. VITEMA is issuing the following tips:

Prepare your home:

  • Fasten shelves securely to walls, and place heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items in low, closed cabinets.
  • Hang items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds and anywhere people sit.
  • Repair any large existing cracks in walls or foundations.
  • Identify safe places in each room (under sturdy furniture, against inside walls, away from glass).

Prepare your family:

  • Create a family emergency communications plan that has an out-of-state contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated.
  • Locate safe places outdoors away from buildings, trees and electrical lines.
  • Allow children to create their “go bags” and participate in the inventory of household emergency supplies.
  • Make an emergency supply kit that includes a flashlight and extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, a whistle, a first aid kit, nonperishable food and water for up to ten days, a non- electric can opener, cash and sturdy shoes. Have extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment. Do not forget the needs of those with disabilities as well as pets and service animals.
  • Ensure each family member is registered to receive Alert VI emergency alerts and notifications on cellphones, landlines, email and TTY devices. Visit to register for Alert VI today.

Prepare your community:

  • Get to know your neighbors and combine emergency plans when possible.
  • Participate in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Teen CERT, First Aid and other emergency response trainings when offered.
  • Car pool to emergency preparedness events and activities. Collect extra pamphlets and information for neighbors, the elderly and those with disabilities and access and functional needs who were unable to attend the event.
  • If there are elderly and disabled citizens in your community, talk with them and assist with their emergency plans. Check on them regularly and assist with collecting their emergency supplies, including extra medications and mobility equipment.
  • Coordinate All-Hazard Preparedness training sessions for your church, school, business or community by contacting the VITEMA Planning and Preparedness Team on St. Croix (340)773-2244 and on St. Thomas (340) 774-2244 or email - 

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