Earthquake is a devastating disaster but not a frequent occurrence. But recently its frequency has increased a lot, crossing all the past records. So it has created panic, terror, and confusion in our mind. Its safety has become dire need among the general people.
Earthquake is disruptive and can be a one-time event or a series of events of varying period. A little knowledge on earthquake safety tips can enhance the chance of your surviving in the earthquake. The earthquake safety tips can make a lifesaving difference if the earthquakes hit suddenly.
Before going to the safety tips, I want to light sheds on the recent earthquake video in Nepal, so that you can understand the terror, horror, and panic that goes on inside the mind of the victim.
Tips Before earthquake
Ensure fault line
Make sure you live near the fault line or not. Research the area and ensure that your ground is susceptible to the earthquake effect or not.
Get ready with Emergency Kit
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Cram your emergency kit with water, non-perishable and dry food, first aid supplies, flashlights, personal necessities like- (medications, clothing, and toiletries), extra batteries, etc. it should have week’s worth of supplies per person. Preserve 4 gallons of drinking water for each person per week.
If you have a pet, make necessary supplies for it also.
Simple idea of earthquakes
You need to persuade every member of your family about the idea on the earthquake. Explain in simple word so that young children can also understand how and why it occurs. Let them know that it’s a natural event and take necessary steps rather than crying in fear or terror.
photo credit: Royalty free
Practice earthquake drill. It’ll help a lot to make your child aware of what to do during the earthquake. So there will be a mere chance to make a mistake when the earthquake hits in a second or more.
Current contact information
As the phone number or addresses changes frequently so keep up to date with the contact information. If your child is in the school and earthquake strikes, you will be able to know from where to pick up through contact.
Identify the safety spot
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Find safety place at home where you can immediately go if the earthquake strikes. Safe places are- sturdy desk or table, places where you can apply the triangle of life. Don’t rush out outside to the staircase during the earthquake because the average staircase is a deathtrap in an earthquake.
Turn off main switch
Learn how to turn off the main switch of water, electricity, and gas. Find out the main turn offs and location of needed tools.
Arrange your home
Don’t hang heavy pictures or mirror where the people sleep. Shift the heavy objects from upper shelves to lower shelves and store breakable objects with latched door.
Anchor heavy furniture
Anchor heavy furniture and appliances like- refrigerators, bookcase or water heater.
Tips during earthquake
Drop, cover and hold on
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This is most known and popular tips for earthquake safety what everybody must know. When the earthquake strikes, drop to the ground immediately and cover under something solid or sturdy like table or desk. Hold on to the object and protect your neck and head with another hand. If you don’t find any solid place, then crouch down next to the interior wall. Stay quiet at indoor instead of rushing outside in terror and confusion.
Injury from flying debris
The biggest hazard during the earthquake is falling debris and furniture. So stay away from furniture or windows that may fall over. Cover the back of your head and eyes to minimize the injury from debris.
Safety when you’re in bed
If you’re in bed, protect your head with a pillow and stay there.
Safety if outside
If you’re outside during the earthquake, stay at the safe place away from street lights, power lines, trees, and buildings. Don’t move from there until the shaking stops.
photo credit: 2.gov.bc.ca
If you are driving during the earthquake, stop it. Stay safe at inside the car or the vehicles. Don’t rush out and try to run wherever you can. It’ll bring much danger to your life. Stay inside the car with the seat belt fastened.
Don’t stop your car near a bridge, power lines, and other potentially dangerous areas.
Turn off heating and don’t use elevators
Turn off heating elements immediately in cooking and don’t take elevators if the earthquake strikes.
Tips After earthquake
Get ready for the aftershocks. After a major earthquake, you can experience additional quakes which last for days or even weeks.
Clean up spilled bleaches, medicines, other flammable liquids immediately.
Notice after the evacuation
If you’re evacuated, don’t get back until the authorities give any further notice.
Listen to the radio
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Keep an eye on television or battery operated radio for the updated emergency information.
Stay away from the damaged area
If you’re a team member of any assistance group, don’t go to the damaged area for help unless you get the permission from police and relief organization. It’s because of your safety.
Inspection of the utilities
- If you notice any broken wire, sparks or anything like that, switch off the electricity at the main circuit breaker.
- If you find your sewage lines in damaged condition, call a plumber before using it.
- If you smell something wrong or hear a hissing sound, open windows and turn off the main valve outside if possible.
Claim insurance for the damaged issue
Take photos or video of the damaged area and make a document of the damage. If earthquake damage is under the insurance policy, claim for it.