Earthquakes

Did You Know?

Doorways are no stronger than any other part of the structure. During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on unless you know the doorway is a strongly supported, load bearing doorway.

Unlike weather-related disasters, earthquakes strike with absolutely zero warning -- which is why it's crucial to prepare ahead of time. Fastenal can help. With more than 2,500+ stores, including hundreds throughout California and other earthquake "hot spots," we're a one-stop source for the fasteners, tools, and supplies you'll need to minimize damage and injuries when the next earthquake hits.

Contact your local store to learn more about Fastenal's available emergency services.

Planning, Preparing & Responding

Whether you are planning, preparing or responding to an earthquake, Fastenal has you covered.

Before an Earthquake

  • Prepare your facility with basic safety monitoring items like carbon monoxide alarms, gas leak detectors, and emergency lighting. Designate someone to turn off gas, electricity, and water when advised to do so by authorities.
  • Brace shelves, overhead fixtures and equipment, and store loose objects where they won't break or injure employees.
  • Stock up on emergency basics, including a first aid kit, canned food (w/ opener), several gallons of drinking water per person, protective clothing, a battery-powered radio, and flashlights with extra batteries.
  • Establish and communicate an employee emergency/evacuation plan.

During an Earthquake

  • If indoors, drop and take cover under sturdy furniture; stay away from windows and glass.
  • If outdoors, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Stay in the open until the shakings stops.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses, and power lines if possible.
  • Be aware that electricity may go out and/or sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.
  • Do NOT use elevators.

After an Earthquake

  • Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides, or even a tsunami.
  • Listen to a portable radio for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Watch for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and stay out of damaged areas.
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.

Stay in Business

  • Assemble a Kit
  • Make a Plan
  • Stay Informed

Establish a safe room, escape routes and meeting places. Keep emergency phone numbers on hand and designate someone to communicate with employees, customers and suppliers.

Additional Resources

Sources: US Department of Commerce, FEMA, and the American Red Cross