In this article we will try to give you some steps to on how to prepare for an earthquake in advance, during and after. Living in an earthquake zone makes it even more important for you to be prepared and informed. There are certain steps you can take to help you and your loved ones keep safe and to try and minimize the risk for injury, damage or loss after an earthquake.
The first step, and we feel is the most important one, is how to prepare for an earthquake beforehand. Once one hit it is not the time to prepare, it then becomes something you have to deal with. Preparing in advance gives you peace of mind, less anxiety if one hits and the correct supplies for you and your loved ones if needed.
How to Prepare for An Earthquake Beforehand
Before an earthquake here are a few ideas for you to do and consider:
- Have a survival kit for everyone in your household. Everyone in your home should know where these are kept.
- Have water stored in case the water supply is jeopardized. A box of Datrex water pouches is excellent for this because they have a 5 year shelf life! They recommend three gallons of water per person.
- Have extra food that is easily gotten to and can be prepared easily, in case of an electrical outage. Datrex food bars are good to have on hand. They also have a 5 year shelf life.
- Have a battery operated radio and flashlight with extra batteries. Keep a flashlight, or light sticks and a pair of sturdy shoes by your bedside.
- Fasten shelves, bookshelves, mirrors and wall hangings to the walls. (at Home Depot or Lowe’s try Quake putty)
- Fasten TVs and other electronics by using flexible nylon straps. (at Home Depot or Lowe’s)
- Secure your collectibles and breakables with Quake putty (at Home Depot or Lowe’s)
- Fasten your water heater, refrigerator, water dispensers and furnace with straps (at Home Depot or Lowe’s)
- Learn and teach all in your family where and how to turn off gas, water and electricity. If you do not have the correct tools to do this, Simple Safety sells this tool. Remember you need a professional to turn gas back on.
- Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid water or gas leaks.
- Create your own disaster preparedness plan for your family. Include the phone number of an out of state family member or friend as a contact person in the event you should get separated. Choose a room or place to reconnect after a earthquake.
- Don’t forget your pet! They will need supplies too. It is recommended not to hold onto them during a quake, they could become aggressive. They say an animal will naturally take cover.
- Inform babysitters and care givers of your family plan.
- PRACTICE THE PLAN on how to prepare before an earthquake. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN ADEQUATE PLAN FOR HOME, WORK, AND SCHOOL OR IN BETWEEN! THEN PRACTICE AGAIN.
During an earthquake thing for you to do, consider and practice:
- You should already know your safe place in your house or room you are in – drop to the ground under a very sturdy desk or behind something very sturdy (like a couch?) that would hold weight from anything falling on you. This should not be next to an outside wall, windows or doors. Hang on until it is over.
- DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON!! Practice with children a couple of times a year.
- If you are in bed drop to the floor with the pillow over your head.
- Stay away from buildings, streetlights and power lines if outside when it happens.
- DO NOT GO NEAR POWER LINES.
- If in your car come to a stop as soon as possible in a clear spot and stay inside the vehicle.
- If you are outdoors, find a clear place away from trees, buildings and power lines.
- If you become trapped under debris, try not to kick up a lot of dust and if you are near pipes tap on them.radio strap
After an earthquake thing for you to do, consider and practice:
- Check yourself for injuries, then check others. Give first aid for any injuries if needed. Protect yourself and family members by putting on long pants and sturdy shoes and work gloves.
- Avoid elevators.
- You already know where the fire extinguisher is (right?), so put out any small fires you would find.
- Turn off and gas (you know where that is, right? You know where the tool is right?)
- Open any cabinets carefully as items shift and could fall out and hurt you.
- Text instead of calling – it’s more likely to go through!
- Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if you find it is unsafe.
- Check on neighbors and friends.
- Expect aftershocks! Remember to DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON each time you feel one. These can be just as dangerous as an earthquake itself.
Remember, an earthquake can happen at any time without warning. With the preparation and practice you and your family do, it can prevent injury or even death during an earthquake. Being equipped on how to prepare for an earthquake CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!