Once it is safe to go outside you should do so. If you’re in a small town like Cedar City, plan on an overload on the Emergency Services in your town. This is where your emergency planning should begin. Meet at the designated safe place and make sure that everyone is accounted for. Check each person for any injuries. One often overlooked safety precaution is to cover your nose and mouth with a mask or cloth. You will also want to protect your eyes from the dust.
Apply first aid to anyone that needs it. These measures could include rescue breathing or CPR depending on the severity of the injuries. Remember unless is unsafe to allow a seriously injured person stay where they are, leave them there, don’t move them unless you have to! Make sure to cover injured persons with a blanket or coat to keep them warm, and watch them closely for shock.
Put out any small fires that you’re able to extinguish, remember the Fire Department is going to be inundated with calls, so they may not be able to respond to your fire. Turn off the gas at the Gas Main (meter). There are usually instructions on how to do this in the front of most phone directories.
Shut off the electricity at the main breaker. As with the gas, leave these off until you are sure that your home has not sustained any damage to either services.
Remember to treat all downed power lines as “live”. They may electrocute you, so stay away from them! This is also a good place to remember to watch for anything that may fall. This is especially important when opening overhead cupboards and shelving.
Treat all spills carefully. When in doubt, use an absorbent material such as dirt if you are unsure whether the spills may be toxic or caustic.
Stay away from damaged masonry, brick chimneys and walls, they may crumble at any time causing more injuries. Don’t use a fireplace with a damaged chimney, it may fill your house with toxic gases.
Remember you and your neighbors are going to be each other’s first responders. You may need to help the neighbors do the same things that you did in your house (shut off the gas, electricity etc.). You may even need to help extricate them from collapsed homes or perform first aid.