Press release from the American Red Cross:
The US Geological Service is confirming a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck an area Shawville, Quebec in Canada around 9:45am Friday morning, and other outlets are reporting an earthquake in Braeside, Ontario, Canada. People across the Western New York area have reported feeling the effects of an earthquake, although there have been no reports of any damage or injuries at this time.
Earthquakes are sudden and can strike without warning. They can happen in every region of the United States. The American Red Cross urges everyone to update their family evacuation plan, emergency preparedness kit and get better prepared for earthquakes and other emergencies.
The American Red Cross recommends the following preparedness actions:
Get or assemble an emergency preparedness kit:
A portable kit, stored in a sturdy, easy to carry, water resistant container should have enough supplies for three days. Check your kit and replace perishable stock every six months. Whether you purchase a kit or choose to build your own, your three-day kit should include:
-First aid kit and essential medications.
-Canned food and can opener.
-At least three gallons of water per person.
-Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
-Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
-Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
-Written instructions for how to turn off gas, electricity, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)
-Keeping essentials, such as a flashlight and sturdy shoes, by your bedside.
Prepare a home earthquake plan:
The American Red Cross urges each and every household to develop a household disaster plan.
-Choose a safe place in every room--under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
-Practice drop, cover and hold on at least twice a year. Drop under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. Teach children to drop, cover, and hold on!
-Choose an out-of-town family contact.
-Consult a professional to find out additional ways you can protect your home, such as bolting the house to its foundation and other structural mitigation techniques.
-Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Keep your training current.
-Get training in how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department.
-Inform babysitters and caregivers of your plan.
Find out how local authorities will contact you during a disaster. Listen to local media broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest storm conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.
Contact your local American Red Cross for details about community disaster education presentations that may be arranged or are available in your workplace, school or community organization.
Get trained in CPR and first aid so you will know how to respond to emergencies in the event that help is delayed.
For more information on earthquake preparedness, please visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake.