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Are You Prepared for a Fire or Earthquake?

Take these steps to prepare for a disaster.

Better late than never—start putting together a disaster preparedness plan now.

Peter Cade / Getty Images

A little bit of knowledge goes a long way in meeting unexpected challenges. Read on to see whether the latest preparedness facts come as a surprise, then take steps to make sure you’re ready.

Store 14 Gallons of Water

That’s how much water experts recommend storing for each person in your household. That’s one gallon per person per day for two weeks.

Ditch the Door Frame

Did you know door frames are no longer considered the best spot to huddle during a quake? You’re better off getting under a sturdy piece of furniture and holding on. If you’re in bed, the safest thing to do is stay put and protect your head with a pillow. Keep a flashlight and a solid pair of shoes beside every family member’s bed.

Rehearse Twice a Year

Make a plan for how you’ll exit your house in case of fire, then rehearse it every six months. Plot two escape routes from every room so everyone knows how to get out safely if one exit is blocked.

Plan for Pets

In case you land in a temporary emergency shelter that doesn’t accept pets, keep a list of friends, relatives, veterinarians, and boarding facilities that can take your animals until you can bring them home.

Install and Test Smoke Alarms

Sixty percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. Install devices on every floor and test them once a month, replacing batteries as needed.

Find Your Gas Shutoff

A spark near a gas leak can lead to fire. Make sure you know how to shut off your home’s gas supply, and keep a wrench within easy reach of it.

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