Earthquakes - Be Prepared


One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects.

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Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning at any time of the day or night. If an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

Although there are no guarantees of safety during an earthquake, identifying potential hazards ahead of time and advance planning can save lives and significantly reduce injuries and property damage.

How can I protect myself from an earthquake?

  • What to do before an earthquake
  • What to do during an earthquake
  • What to do after an earthquake

Earthquake Risk by State and Territory

Use the chart below to find out if you live in a state or territory at moderate, high, or very high earthquake risk. Since not all communities in a state or territory share the same risk from an earthquake, use the maps produced by the United States Geological Survey to see the risk to your community.

Moderate Risk

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

High Risk

  • American Samoa
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah

Very High Risk

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Virgin Islands
  • Washington
  • Wyomi

Plan Ahead

Protect Your Family

  • Get informed
  • Plan for emergencies
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit
  • Effectively shelter
    • Prepare a safe room
    • Guidelines for managing water supplies
    • Guidelines for managing food supplies
  • Get your children involved (kids site)
  • Special needs and concerns
  • Care for pets and livestock

Protect Your Property

Everyone faces the risk of natural disaster and no plan to protect property can be complete without insurance coverage against potential damage and loss. It is important to know exactly what coverage you may need and what coverage is available to protect your property against all of the natural hazards it may be exposed to so that you are not underinsured or not insured at all. Check with your insurance company or local insurance agent.

FEMA strongly encourages property owners and renters to fully explore their insurance needs and obtain adequate coverage before a disaster strikes.

  • Buy flood insurance
  • Find out if your home or prospective home is in a flood zone
  • Get informed on the full range of insurance coverage available to individuals and businesses
  • Prepare financially for disasters
  • "How-to" Guides