Be Prepared for the Next Shake

Alaska is actually one of the most seismically active areas in the entire world. Many Cordovans remember the 1964 earthquake. They distinctly remember where they were. They distinctly remember what it felt like. They distinctly remember the chaos in the aftermath. “Great” Alaskan earthquakes happen, on the average, every 13 years. We know there will be an earthquake again. We just don’t know exactly when …and we don’t know how big. The good news is there is much we can do to prepare ourselves for the next big one.

What do we do DURING an earthquake?

  • Stay calm
  • If inside: stand in a doorway or crouch under a desk or table. Stay away from windows or glass and watch for falling objects.
  • If outside: stand away from buildings, telephone and electric lines, and trees.
  • If “out-the-road”: stay off the bridges; stop in a safe area and stay in your vehicle.

What do we do AFTER an earthquake?

  • Check for injuries and provide first aid. (Have you had a first aid course lately?…call the Cordova Volunteer Fire Department @ 424-6117)
  • Check for safety hazards: gas, water or sewage breaks; downed electric lines; building damage; turn off appropriate utilities
  • Carefully clean up dangerous spills (Call Cordova volunteer Fire Department for specific questions regarding this topic)
  • Listen to the radio (do you HAVE a battery powered portable radio?) for public safety guidelines or, if the internet is working, watch the city website, , for information.
  • Do NOT use the telephone, except for emergencies. Keep the lines open for REAL emergencies.

For more detailed information, read the article entitled “Are you prepared for the Next Big Earthquake in Alaska?” It is an outstanding reference. Go to

As always. Be prudent. Be ready. Be prepared.