Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquake, Tsunami & Volcano Programs

​​California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP)/ Brace + Bolt

The CRMP Earthquake Brace+Bolt program offers homeowners up to $3000 to cover costs associated with earthquake retrofitting. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure. The seismic retrofitting involves bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space.

Homeowners: Is your house earthquake-ready? If an earthquake happened today, would your house stay on its foundation? You may qualify for up to $3000 toward a seismic retrofit of your house.

Contractors: EBB encourages homeowners to use licensed contractors experienced in seismic retrofitting. EBB is free to contractors and to be included in the Contractor Directory all you have to do is take the online FEMA training provided.

Building Officials: Building departments play a critical role in the success of EBB. Participating homeowners need their building permit to confirm the retrofit was done in accordance with Appendix Chapter A3 or an approved standard plan set.

Learn more:

CRMP is a joint powers authority created by the California Earthquake Authority and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services. CRMP was established to carry out mitigation programs to assist California homeowners who wish to seismically retrofit their houses.  Our goal is to provide grants and other types of assistance and incentives for these mitigation efforts and EBB is the first of these programs.

California Earthquake Authority

California Earthquake Authority is a not-for-profit that provides earthquake insurance policies to California homeowners and renters, and works to encourage all Californians  to take steps to reduce the risk of earthquake loss.

Learn more: 


​Am I at Risk?

California and Alaska are generally the most seismically active regions in North America*. Maps covering earthquakes over the last 11,000 years indicate that major faults in California could affect 36 counties and 104 cities. Do you know your risk for earthquake?

Knowing if you live, work, shop, vacation or drop your children off in an area that could be impacted by an earthquake fault is the first step you can take to reducing your risk of injury and decreasing property damage from an earthquake. As long as you have an address, you can find out if you are at risk by visiting Cal OES’s “My Hazards” and entering the location zip code.

Once you determine your risk, you can begin to prepare your family, employees, students and others to lessen the impacts of an earthquake.

*In 2014, Oklahoma saw a 500% increase in seismic activity (quakes of magnitude 3 or greater), thereby surpassing California for the first time in recorded history.

​Earthquake Preparedness

Preparedness refers to activities we do prior to an earthquake to be ready to respond to and recover from significant ground shaking. When it comes to earthquakes, there are simple things you can do to improve your chances of survival and recovery. Anything you do today will be like making a deposit in your survivability savings account for withdrawal in tough times.

At a minimum, you should be prepared to be isolated and on your own for at least three days and nights. There will likely be the loss of utilities after a disaster. It is possible the power will be out, water may be scarce, gas lines may break, phones and cell towers could become inoperable, roads might be impassible, etc. Your only source of news may well be the car radio, assuming your local radio station has a working generator. There might not be medical assistance for days.
To begin preparing your home and family:

  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.

- Reprinted From "Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country"

Many websites and organizations have published checklists online to help you prepare. Sample Disaster Plans can make it easier for you to customize one for your family, business, non-governmental agencies, schools, utilities, hospitals, governmental agencies, tribes and others . Information for preparing your home, business, family, pets, seniors, children, those with access and functional needs is available on the Cal OES website. (add link)

Contact your local emergency management office or local American Red Cross chapter for more information.

Prepare Your Workplace

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey, in 2013 the average work day for full time employed Americans (age 25-54 with children) was 8.7 hours. An earthquake could occur anytime in that 8.7 hours. Are you prepared? Preparing your workplace is just as important as preparing your home. There are many ways to improve your safety in the event of an earthquake. Here are just a few suggestions:

  1. Determine if your workplace is in an area at risk for earthquake.
  2. Be familiar with your company’s emergency plan.
  3. Know evacuation routes and locations deemed safe.
  4. Keep a pack of personal supplies (including walking shoes) that can be grabbed quickly and easily.
  5. Keep a list of emergency numbers handy.

Many organizations play a role in assisting business owners with their disaster planning. See "Tools and Resources" to get you started preparing before the next earthquake with sample plans, checklists, suggested educational programs for employees, exercise methods, and how to improve plans that are already in place.

​Earthquake Preparedness for Teachers and Schools

While earthquakes have occurred throughout history, our knowledge and understanding of preparing for them is much more recent. Through planning and education, we are now in a position to ensure the current and upcoming generations make earthquake preparedness a regular part of their routine. As actions from learning to drop, cover and hold on, to securing furniture in their homes becomes the norm, students can take this information and teach their families and friends how to be prepared.

As we learn more, our partners are applying that knowledge to assist teachers, parents and schools in the education of students of all ages and abilities by providing lesson plans, curriculum, activities, games, materials, publications and a multitude of other resources.


For more information on school planning and preparedness, visit the Cal OES School Emergency Planning and Safety web page and our Tools and Resources section.

​Earthquake Preparedness for  Government Agencies and Tribes

The Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcano Program is responsible for the supporting all California governmental agencies and tribes to ensure the protection and safety of the populace in the event of an earthquake. To this end, the Program staff are available to provide guidance and assistance to our partners in the preparation of plans to mitigate and plan for, respond to and recover from earthquakes impacting our State. In addition, many resources and guidance materials are available for review to walk developers through the planning process.

During the preparedness phase of emergency management, and as part of a comprehensive preparedness program, the emergency management community should develop plans and procedures to be implemented during an earthquake. Plans will need to be flexible and all-encompassing enough to recognize not only earthquakes, but all potential risks and exposures for the community, business, government agency, school, or hospital. Planning activities will vary by jurisdiction but should include the following: Communication, Early Warning, Shelters, Evacuation Plans, Resources and Inventory, Emergency Workers, Volunteers, Training, Access and Functional Needs population, Non-Government Organizations, Multi-Agency Coordination.

​Earthquake Preparedness for Businesses and Organizations

Since earthquakes often strike without warning, it is important to be prepared. Developing an earthquake preparedness plan is one of the most strategic decisions you can make if you are responsible for a business or organization. A workplace should follow accepted earthquake safety guidelines, but have in place a personalized, well-rehearsed plan to help safeguard your organization during an earthquake. Developing, and putting into place, a Disaster Plan will not only protect employees, but will help minimize the financial impact of an earthquake, and help you recover more quickly. To prepare for an earthquake, all businesses should:

1. Eliminate potential hazards
2. Make a business emergency plan
3. Train your employees
4. Exercise your emergency plan
5. Have medical supplies on hand
6. Keep disaster provisions on site

Many organizations play a role in assisting business owners with their disaster planning. See our "Tools and Resources" section to get you started preparing before the next earthquake with sample plans, checklists, suggested educational programs for employees, exercise methods, and how to improve plans that are already in place.


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