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When it comes to being ready, a good starting point is knowing and preparing your home. Whether in a mansion or a studio, there are some basic rules. First, stay clear of glass—windows, mirrors, skylights, etc.—in the event of an earthquake. There’s a possibility for broken glass and the walls with windows may be structurally weaker, as well. The best place to be in your house is under a heavy desk, table or other solid furniture that can withstand some force and protect you. The old “stand in the doorway” advice isn’t bad, but don’t spend time trying to get somewhere in particular. Get to the best spot as soon as possible. If you’re outdoors, make sure you’re in an open area clear of possible falling or collapsing objects.

The best thing you can to do prepare your house is to strap appliances and larger furniture to walls so they will not tip over. You should also make sure that beds or other sleeping areas are not under heavy paintings, sculpture or windows.

The water heater is the first thing that needs to be strapped to a wall. Shelves that are top-heavy or loaded with breakables are also prime candidates to get connected to the studs. Chimneys may require straps to the exterior of the house or a brace that connects to the roof for support.

Know where to shut off water, gas and power in your house in case of a break.

Next, you need a survival kit that consists of first-aid items, water, canned food, a radio with batteries, candles and matches, flashlights and cards and games. The bottom line is you want enough to be able to get by for at least three days.

You’ll also need a plan in case of emergency so everyone in the family knows where to meet, who to contact and what to do in the event of an earthquake. A little prevention and preparation goes a long way. It can make a big difference.