BeforeDuring and After

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock. Earthquakes can cause buildings to collapse, large crevices, damage to roads and cause heavy items to fall resulting in injuries and property damage. Earthquakes may also cause tsunamis, landslides and avalanches. The best way to protect yourself and your property is to prepare

Alaska has over 10% of the earthquakes world-wide. The 1964 Alaska earthquake is the largest recorded earthquake in North America.


During an Earthquake


KPB Joint Information Hub
for multi-agency incident information

Drop, Cover, and Hold On like you practiced. Drop to your hands and knees so earthquake doesn’t know you down. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops. Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris.

If in bed, stay there and cover your head and neck with a pillow.

If inside, stay there until the shaking stops. DO NOT run outside.

If in a vehicle, stop in a clear area that is away from buildings, trees, overpasses, underpasses, or utility wires.

Stay away from kitchens and garages, which tend to be the most dangerous places because of the many items kept there.

If near slopes, cliffs, or mountains, be alert for falling rocks and landslides.


Earthquake information:



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Expect aftershocks to follow the largest shock of an earthquake.

If you are in tsunami inundation zone go inland or to higher ground immediately after the shaking stops. A rapid rise or fall in coastal waters after a large earthquake is a sign of an approaching tsunami.
National Tsunami Warning Center for tsunami warning information. When you hear a tsunami warning, move at once to higher ground and stay there until local authorities say it is safe to return home. 
Evacuation Routes for Homer and Seward.

Check yourself for injury and provide assistance to others if you have training. If in a damaged building, go outside and quickly move away from the building.

Do not enter damaged buildings.

If you are trapped, cover your mouth. Send a text, bang on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle instead of shouting so that rescuers can locate you.

If you are in an area that may experience tsunamis, go inland or to higher ground immediately after the shaking stops.

Save phone calls for emergencies.

Once safe, monitor local news reports via battery operated radio, TV, social media, and cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions. Visit the KPB Joint Information Center for up to date multi-agency information.

Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. 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 during clean-up.


Before an Earthquake

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Secure items, such as televisions, and objects that hang on walls. Store heavy and breakable objects on low shelves.

Practice Drop, Cover, then Hold On with family and coworkers. Drop to your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Crawl only as far as needed to reach cover from falling materials. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops.

Create a Family Emergency Communications Plan that has an out-of-state contact. Plan where to meet if you get separated.

Build a 7-Day Emergency Kit. Visit the State of Alaska 7-Day Emergency Kit for an easy to follow plan to build your 7-day kit over 3 months. Consider each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets, make sure you have enough food since shelters don’t normally provide pet food. Have extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.

Make copies of vital records and keep them in safe spot, preferably outside of the earthquake zone.

Keep an extra pair of eyeglasses and house and car keys on hand.

Keep extra cash and change. If electricity is out, you will not be able to use an ATM.

Locate the shutoff valves for water, gas and electricity. Learn how to shut off the valves before a quake. If you have any questions, call your utility company.

Join your local Community Emergency Response Team so that you can be trained to assist your family, friends and community during an emergency.

Consider obtaining an earthquake insurance policy. Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover earthquake damage.

Consider a retrofit of your building to correct structural issues that make it vulnerable to collapse during an earthquake.

Protecting Your Property from Earthquakes
Anchor and Brace Propane Tanks and Gas Cylinders  
Anchor Equipment Properly  
Anchor Tall Bookcases and File Cabinets
Bolt Sill Plates to Foundation  
Brace Cripple Walls
Install Latches on Drawers and Cabinet Doors
Mount Framed Pictures and Mirrors Securely
Restrain Desktop Computers and Appliances
Use Flexible Connection on Gas and Water Lines
State of Alaska Earthquake & Tsunami Preparedness for tips on preparing for an earthquake in Alaska


Tsunami Brochures for Homer and Seward 

 2021 Seward Tsunami MapHomer evac route


Homer Tsunami Brochure

Seward Tsunami Brochure