Be Prepared

There is a 63% chance that a large earthquake (magnitude 6.7 or greater) will occur between now and 2036 in the Bay Area*. The best earthquake hazard prevention lies in preparation. In the event of a large earthquake along the Hayward Fault, water, power, and transportation lines running along and across the fault will likely be severed, leaving people without access to water and power for several days, if not weeks to months. Furthermore, it may be several days before emergency personnel reach your area.

You can take measures to prepare for an earthquake by following the steps below. With your help, we can continue to ensure that Bay Area life and commerce continue unabated into the future. The information provided below will help you get ready for the next big one.

Follow the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety:

  1. Identify potential hazards in your home and begin to fix them.
  2. Create a disaster-preparedness plan.
  3. Create disaster kits.
  4. Identify your building's potential weaknesses and begin to fix them.
  5. Protect yourself during earthquake shaking.
  6. After the quake, check for injuries and damage.
  7. When safe, continue to follow your disaster-preparedness plan.

Before the next big earthquake we recommend these four steps that will make you, your family, or your workplace better prepared to survive and recover quickly:

Drawing of two people securing a bookshelf and water heater to prevent them from falling in an earthquake

Step 1:

Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.

Drawing of a family discussing their emergency plan at a dining table

Step 2:

Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.

Drawing of a parent and child organizing disaster supplies in a backpack and a larger container

Step 3:

Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.

Drawing of a couple discussing their financial preparedness, while workers retrofit the foundation of their home

Step 4:

Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.

During the next big earthquake, and immediately after, is when your level of preparedness will make a difference in how you and others survive and can respond to emergencies:

Drawing of a family protecting themselves during an earthquake, under a table and in a wheelchair

Step 5:

Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes or you get an alert.

Drawing of people after a quake cleaning up debris, helping the injured, and moving to high ground in case of tsunami.

Step 6:

Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.


After the immediate threat of the earthquake has passed, your level of preparedness will determine your quality of life in the weeks and months that follow:

Drawing of people reconnecting with family, repairing a damaged window, and reopening a school

Step 7:

Reconnect and Restore
Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing damage, and rebuilding community.