After an Earthquake

– If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

– After an earthquake, the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks or landslides.

– Check on neighbors, friends and family members after an emergency.

– Safety shut-off valves should stop the flow of gas when they sense a problem. If you are unsure whether you have an automatic shut-off valve on your natural gas or propane system, contact your local gas or propane company.

– Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.

– Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes.

If Trapped Under Debris:

– Do not use matches or a lighter to assist with visibility.

– Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.

– Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can find you.

– Shout only as a last resort – shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

Possible Recovery Resources


Report disaster damage to your home and business to your locality’s office of emergency management. Contact your city or county’s department of social services, human services, community services board, public health, housing and local emergency management office to access additional resources and information after a disaster.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Individuals and Households Program (IHP)
If a Presidential disaster declaration is made, FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program may provide financial help or direct services to those who have necessary expenses and serious needs if they are unable to meet these needs through other means. Contact the FEMA Individuals and Households Program at 800.621.FEMA.

Public Assistance: Local, State, Tribal and Private Nonprofit
FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) grant program may provide federal assistance to government organizations and certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations if a Presidential disaster declaration is declared. 

PA provides grants to state, tribal, territorial, local governments and certain types of PNP organizations, so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies. Contact the FEMA Public Assistance Division at 202.646.3834.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA may loan money to homeowners, renters and business owners. Homeowners may borrow up to $200,000 for disaster-related home repairs. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace disaster-damaged personal property including vehicles. The SBA may not duplicate benefits from your insurance or FEMA. You may receive an SBA referral when you apply with FEMA. Contact the SBA at 800.659.2955 from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., Mon. – Fri. or email

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Visit the USDA Disaster Resource Center at You will find information about specific disasters and emergencies, how to prepare, recover, and help build long-term resilience, as well as information about USDA assistance from disaster events.