What to do when the shaking begins

Drop, Cover, and Hold on!

  • Stay away from windows.
  • If you're indoors, get under a table and stay there for at least 60 seconds.
  • If you're in bed, hold on and stay there.  Protect your head.
  • If you're outdoors, find a clear place away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
  • If you're in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place. Stay in your car until the shaking stops.


What to do after the shaking stops

  • Protect yourself from further injury by wearing long pants, a long-sleeve shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves.
  • Check family members, neighbors and co-workers for injuries. Treat with first aid as needed.
  • Look for small fires and extinguish them. Eliminate fire hazards. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the gas.
  • Listen to the radio (1530 AM) and/or TV for further instructions.
  • Expect after-shocks.
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Call 9-1-1 for life-threatening emergencies.


What will the City do?

  • After the shaking has stopped, the public safety authorities (Fire, Police and Public Works) will conduct a survey of the public safety facilities for any damage that may affect emergency services.
  • A community reconnaissance will take place to check vital buildings and facilities, such as hospitals, roadways, and utilities to see if there is any damage.
  • The Police and Fire Departments will continue to respond to emergencies via 9-1-1 calls.
  • The City of Stockton Public Information Officer will give Emergency Activation System reports via radio and/or TV. Reports will explain what you should do and how to get help if needed.
  • Disaster preparedness is essential for everyone. Please take the time to develop a plan with your family. Visit Ready.Gov below for helpful tips for your personal planning.


For additional earthquake information, read this Earthquakes Brochure.


If you have questions about the City of Stockton Office of Emergency Services, contact Stockton Fire Department Administration or the Office of Emergency Services.

In case of emergency, dial 9-1-1.


External Links 

San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services (SJ- OES)

American Red Cross 

California Emergency Management Agency (CALEMA)

California Department of Conservation - Earthquakes

Ready.Gov - Provides disaster preparedness tips

F.E.M.A. - Federal Emergency Management Agency

California Earthquake Warning



This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 4/7/2021