Check Yourself for Injuries
Ensure you are ok before tending to others. Cover any wounds with appropriate dressings to prevent possible infection. Ensure your home or building is safe to be in. Check walls, windows, chimneys, and fireplaces for cracks or broken debris. Sparking outlets are a sign of electrical issues and you should evacuate immediately. Do not re-enter the building until it has been cleared by officials. Never enter a home that looks damaged or structurally unsafe. Buildings that survived the initial earthquake may collapse with the subsequent aftershocks.
Stay off the Phone
Only use the phone to dial 911 for life threatening emergencies. Phone lines are overwhelmed and should be left open for those who need immediate help. If you need to notify family members or communicate to let others know you are ok, text messaging requires less bandwidth and are more likely to go through.
Don't Turn Off the Gas Unless You Suspect a Leak
Check for a gas leak. If you suspect a leak and you can safely do so, turn off the main gas line by finding the gas shut off valve and evacuate the building or home. If you can hear gas, smell gas, or see a broken gas line, evacuate the building immediately and call 911. However, the gas company is the only one that can turn your gas back on, so do not shut off the gas valve near the gas meter if you do not suspect a leak.
Wear pants and close toed shoes before walking around your home to inspect for damages. Items may have fallen and broken and you can prevent many injuries by providing one more layer of protection.
Stay Away from Downed or Damaged Power Lines
Never touch wires lying on the ground or hanging from poles. Downed wires could kill you if touched. Call 911 to report them immediately.
Take pictures of your home and personal belongings. It will help with insurance claims after an earthquake. If you have pre-disaster pictures include them in your disaster kit. It's hard to explain what something looked like after it's destroyed.
For more information visit http://www.calema.ca.gov