Officials Recommend Planning For Earthquakes - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Officials Recommend Planning For Earthquakes

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California is the only state in the lower 48 that has more seismic activity than Nevada. That's why officials say it's important that residents have a plan in place.

It doesn't just help you in case of an earthquake but other emergencies like floods and wildfires.

The earthquake in Chile is a reminder of how quickly a disaster can strike.

Patti Weiske is the Chief Development Officer of the Northern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross. She says the first thing you should do, during an earthquake, is find a safe place in your home.

"Many people believe that you should go and stand underneath a doorway, for example, and that's just not true," Weiske said. "The safest place to go is under a heavy piece of furniture."

Hundreds of small earthquakes rattled the Mogul area six years ago damaging walls and knocking things off the shelves.

"We live in earthquake country," Aaron Kenneston, Washoe County Emergency Manager said. "There have been about 25 big earthquakes in our state in the last 150 years. Only one of them in the last 25 years."

That one happened near Wells, in 2008. The magnitude-6 earthquake damaged buildings and displaced more than 25 people.

Kenneston says the United States has stronger building codes, which helps against earthquakes. But there are still threats.

"The dangers are things like suspended lights, ceiling tiles falling on you," Kenneston said. "So, in a disaster, in an emergency, quickly get under a table, cover and hold on."

Earthquake straps can be useful to brace furniture like shelves to the wall, keeping them from moving.

Kenneston says having an emergency kit with tools and supplies is also important. It should have three days of water and food for each person. Flashlights, gloves, and other tools can also be valuable.

'Prep and Save Survival Store' specializes in emergency supplies like food packs, first aid kits, and life straws.

Paul Lessard is the store's product specialist and says it's also important to know where your home's shutoff valves are, and how to turn them off.

He says taking some small precautions can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

"It's already a stressful situation in any type of emergency," Lessard said. "So, having the proper gear just makes you more relaxed. I don't have to run around with my head cut off."

Emergency officials say they plan for earthquakes throughout the year and want the public to meet them halfway.

Kenneston says it's important to have any medications in your emergency kit, or at least a copy of your prescription.

Written by Paul Nelson
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