Emergency Communications
Emergency Preparedness
LA County Operational Area B
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Preparing Children for Earthquakes and Other  Emergencies

The main concern for infants and toddlers is to make their environment safe and secure. Conduct a hazard hunt in your child's room, and remove all potential hazards that can cause injury. Cribs should be placed away from windows and tall, unsecured bookcases and shelves that could slide or topple.

Be sure to have a minimum 72 hour supply of:

  • Water

  • Formula

  • Bottles

  • Food

  • Juices

  • Baby wipes

  • Disposable diapers

  • Prescribed medications

  • Clothes

Keep an extra diaper bag with the above items in your car. Store strollers, wagons, blankets and cribs with appropriate wheels to evacuate infants, if necessary. Install bumper pads in cribs or bassinets to protect babies during the shaking. Install latches on all cupboards (not just those young children can reach) so that nothing can fall on your baby during a quake.

Preschool and School-age Children

By the age of three, children can understand what an earthquake is and how to get ready for one. Explain what causes earthquakes in terms they will understand. Have your children be included in family plans and discussions for earthquake safety. Practice safety procedures with your children so they are prepared to take action on their own.

  • Show children the safest places to be in each room when an earthquake hits. Also show them all possible exits from each room.

  • Use sturdy shoes tables to teach children to Duck, Cover, & Hold.

  • Teach children what to do wherever they are during an earthquake (at school, in a tall building, at the movies, in a store, outdoors).

  • Make sure children's emergency cards at school are up-to-date.

  • Although children should not turn off any utility valves, it is important that they know what gas smells like. Advise children to tell an adult if they smell gas after an earthquake.

  • Help your children assemble their own emergency kits.

Ideas on what to include in children's emergency kits:

  • A special toy

  • Family photograph

  • A note from parents


Accustom children to living without electricity. Go through an entire evening without using electricity. After an earthquake, monitor family members behavioral changes such as:

  • Withdrawal from family and friends

  • Over eating/loss of appetite

  • Disobedience

  • Antisocial behavior

  • Headaches

  • Nightmares

Parents and teachers can respond to the above problems by encouraging additional attention and physical comfort and by providing structured but undemanding responsibilities.

City of Calabasas 2017