Earthquake Safety

The Topanga Survival Guide is an emergency management plan for Topanga that includes information on preparing for disasters, what to do during a disaster, and how to recover from such events. Every home in the canyon received this looseleaf binder in 2017 and updates. For more information:;


Periodically survey your home and rehearse in your mind what you would do if an earthquake struck right now. Have a plan and water for three days.


  • DROP, COVER and HOLD ON! Move as little as possible. Take cover under a sturdy table or desk. Most injuries during earthquakes occur because of people moving around indoors.
  • In bed: Stay there, roll onto your stomach and protect your head with a pillow and hold on.
  • In a wheelchair: Get to a safe position and lock the wheels. Try to protect your head and torso.
  • Outdoors: Move away from buildings to a clear area if you can safely do so. Avoid power lines or anything that could fall on or move into you.
  • In a vehicle: Pull over, stop the engine, set the parking brake. Keep seatbelt fastened. Avoid overpasses, bridges or other falling hazards. If a power line falls on your vehicle or is nearby, do not get out. Wait for assistance.


  • Assess your surroundings and act accordingly with caution. Aftershocks can be frequent and may cause additional damage. DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
  • If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
  • If you smell gas, get out of the house and move as far away as possible.
  • Before you leave any building check to make sure that there is no debris from the building that could fall on you. 


  • Find a clear spot and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • Get as far away from buildings, power lines, trees, and streetlights as possible.

In a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris, and landslides.


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