An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, and they can occur at any time of the year, day or night.
How can I prepare?
- Become aware of fire evacuation & earthquake plans for the building you occupy regularly.
- Pick safe places in each room of your home & workplace. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
- Practice drop, cover and hold on in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to interior wall and cover your head & neck with your arms.
- Keep a flashlight and pair of shoes near your bed.
- Bolt bookcases, and other tall furniture to wall studs.
- Hang large & heavy pictures or mirrors, away from beds and anywhere people sleep/ sit
- Brace overhead light fixtures.
- Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large/ heavy items should be closest to the floor.
- Learn to shut off LPG from cylinder valve in your kitchen.
What should I do during an earthquake?
If you are inside when the shaking starts …
- Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible.
- If you are in bed & an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Protect your head with a pillow.
- Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
- Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. If you must leave the building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case there are aftershocks, power failure or other damage.
- Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently get activated in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
If you are outside when the shaking starts…
- Find a clear spot and drop to the ground.
- Stay there until the shaking stops (away from buildings, power lines, trees, street lights).
- If you are in a vehicle, go to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Then, drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
- If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
- If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
What do I do after an earthquake?
- After an earthquake, the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a Tsunami. Tsunamis are often generated by earthquakes.
- Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
- Check yourself for injuries and get first aid, if necessary, before helping injured or trapped persons.
- Wear protective clothes & shoes to protect against injury from broken objects.
- Look quickly for damage in and around your home and get everyone out, if unsafe.
- Listen to news for updated emergency information and instructions.
- Check telephones in your home or workplace to see if you can get a dial tone.
- Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
- Clean up spilled medications, bleach, or other flammable liquids immediately.
- Open closet and cabinet doors carefully as contents may have shifted.
- Help people who require assistance, i.e. infants, children, elderly or differently abled.
- Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and stay out of damaged areas.
- Stay out of damaged buildings.
- If you were away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. Use extreme caution and examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to check for damage.
- Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic lights go out of order.
The content was originally posted on: Jacobs