Are you prepared for a major earthquake? You might have more supplies than you think

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (KABC) -- If you had to grade yourself on earthquake preparedness right now, how would you do?

We talked to Kate Long with the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society about earthquake supplies and preparedness. Here are the things you should have on hand and do to prepare in the event of a major earthquake. Take a walk around your house and you might be surprised at what you already have on hand.

1. Water
"The number one priority for me is having water. We can get along without food, but we really need water," said Long. Already have a large pack of plastic water bottles stowed on the floor of your garage? She recommends putting them up on a pallet "so the plastic isn't in contact with the concrete, which over time can degrade the plastic and therefore the life of your water."

Look around your home and you might have even more water than you realize. "Everybody who has a water heater, and has it strapped has 30 or 40 gallons of water right there."

2. Earthquake kit
First step is buying an earthquake kit. Second step? Opening it! "They're great, except you might not know what's in them, so if you do buy a kit, check out what's in there," said Long.

3. Non-perishable foods
Open up your cabinets. If you have canned fruit, dry goods (like cereal or crackers), canned goods (like soups, tuna, or chicken), protein bars or peanut butter, then you're off to a good start.

WATCH | Earthquake expert Dr. Lucy Jones answers your questions
EMBED More News Videos

What is an earthquake swarm? If a big quake hits during the pandemic, will we be prepared? Dr. Lucy Jones is answering questions about earthquakes from ABC7 viewers.

4. Child locks on your cabinets (yes, even if you don't have children)
In the event of a more significant earthquake, those child locks could prevent everything from spilling out of your cabinets. Long said she learned that the hard way, "I lost all my dishes and everything out of my cupboards during the Whittier earthquake."

5. Shoes and a flashlight stored under your bed
There is a decent chance we'll all be asleep when a big quake hits so it's important to have things readily accessible nearby your bed. Long suggests tying the laces from your shoes around the bed leg and putting a flash light in your shoe to secure it since things will shift and move after an earthquake. Another option is to simply have those items in a little duffle bag.

6. Secure wall decor and picture frames
Simply grab some pliers and clamp hooks that your pictures are hanging on and you should be fine.

There's still a lot we can all do, but starting with this checklist, you may have found that there's also a lot that's probably already done.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.