1. Get to know your neighbors. Say hi, knock on doors, have a block party. Call
your neighborhood association and find out if your street has a designated block coordinator. Introduce yourself.
2. Have three day's worth of supplies on hand at home and in the car.
Kits including food, water and first aid range in complexity and price. The cheapest may be Quakehold's $15 model for one person, available at Palo Alto Hardware at 875 Alma St. Pricier and more extensive models are available from the Red Cross Store's Web site at http://www.redcrossstore.org .
3. Make a plan with your family. Have someone out-of-state all can call in case local phone lines go down. Plan how to get children from school. Pick a meeting spot.
4. Secure your house, including fastening top-heavy furniture to the walls and having a wrench to turn gas off. Visit the sites in the "more information" box to learn more.
5. Set an annual date to update supplies and stick to it.
For more information
To learn more about preparing your household and family, see the "Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country" booklet from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Red Cross, available online at: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/prepare/index.php .
To get involved in the Palo Alto Neighborhoods' efforts to connect citizens and prepare the city with the Emergency Preparedness Committee, visit http://www.paneighborhoods.org/ .
For more information about the city's disaster-worker training program, call the Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services at 617-3197 or visit the "Emergency Information" section of http://www.cityofpaloalto.org .
To learn more about earthquakes in the Bay Area, visit the USGS Web site at http://quake.usgs.gov/ .