How To Prepare for an Earthquake

The Pacific Rim region is prone to earthquakes.After an earthquake, your home may be a mess and you may not have a water supply or power.There are several things you can do to prepare for an earthquake, to minimize the damage and potential for injury in and around your home.

Step 1: A Disaster Preparedness Plan can be created for your house or place of work.

Before the earthquake happens, know what you and your family are going to do.Go over your plan on a regular basis.Understanding what to do when an earthquake strikes is the most important first step.Under sturdy desks and tables and inside strong interior door frames are good places to put this plan.Lay on the floor next to an interior wall and protect your head and neck if there is no other cover.Stay away from large furniture, mirrors, external walls and windows, kitchen cabinets, and anything heavy that isn’t bolted down.If you have access to an emergency whistle, try to blow it three times in a row.You only have a few seconds to make changes in a real earthquake.

Step 2: Drop, cover and hold on until it becomes second nature.

This is the number one defense in an earthquake.Drop to the floor and cover the desk or table.Prepare for shaking and falling objects.It’s a good idea to know your protected areas in every room of the house when an earthquake strikes.If you are outside, move away from anything that could fall or collapse, like telegraph poles and buildings.Drop and cover your head.Stay there until the shaking stops.

Step 3: Make sure there is at least one person in the house who knows how to use first aid.

You and your family can be educated on how to deal with first aid emergencies.Basic skills to deal with most common injuries and situations are taught in monthly classes by your local Red Cross.If you can’t attend a class, buy basic first aid books and put them with your emergency supplies in the house.It’s highly recommended that you have a first aid kit.

Step 4: Pick a point for your family to rally around.

It should not be near buildings.Do you know what your family should do if not everyone makes it to the rally point?Every member of the family should know where the civil defense safety meeting point is in your town.If your family can call an out-of-state contact, they can get in touch with one another.Make sure you call them if you can’t call each other.The FCC requires a license to use the GMRS service in the US.Disaster causes phone lines to get congested.Radio waves can be sent up to 40 miles.

Step 5: You can turn off the utilities in your house.

A broken gas line can cause a dangerous explosion if untended.If you learn how to operate your utilities now, you will be able to stop the problem in the event you smell gas.

Step 6: Emergency contact lists should be written down and shared.

Everyone should be included in your home, office, etc.If they can’t be found, you need to know how to get in touch with them.In addition to normal contact information, ask each person to give emergency contact as well.You should include the names and numbers of your neighbors.The landlord’s name and number.There is important medical information.There are emergency numbers for fire, medical, police, and insurance.

Step 7: After an earthquake, try to figure out ways to get home.

There is no way to know when an earthquake will hit, you can’t even tell if you’re at work, school, or on a bus.Since roads and bridges are likely to be blocked for long periods of time, you will need to know several ways to get home.Take into account any potentially dangerous structures, like bridges, and figure out a route around them.

Step 8: Inform the entire household of the disaster’s location by preparing a disaster supply kit.

In the worst-case scenario, earthquakes can trap people in their homes for days at a time, so you need everything for survival in the house.Extra kits can be left in different sections of the house if you have a large house with more than 4-5 people.

Step 9: Purchase enough food and water for a few days.

You should have a gallon of water for each family member.You need a manual can opener to get into emergency ration.Fruits, vegetables, beans, and tuna are some of the canned foods you can purchase.There are processed crackers and salty snacks.There is food for camping.

Step 10: You can buy a solar or manual crank flashlight or a normal flashlight with extra batteries.

You should have at least one for each person in the house.You can get a portable radio as well.You’ll never have to worry about batteries if you invest in a solar or kinetically powered model.You should buy glow-sticks, matches, and candles as backup options.

Step 11: A first aid kit is needed.

One of the most important items in your emergency kit is this.Bandages and Gauze Antibiotics and alcohol wipes Pain-relievers Broad spectrum antibiotic pills Anti-diarrhea medication (essential to fight dehydration in an emergency) Scissors Gloves and dust masks

Step 12: A basic tool kit can be used to get out of the house in an emergency.

If you are trapped in the house, you may need to help rescue crews.Heavy duty hammer Work gloves Crowbar Fire extinguisher Rope ladder are things you should have.

Step 13: Store things that can be used in an emergency to make it more comfortable.

While everything above is essential to a good survival kit, the following materials should be rounded up if time and money allow.

Step 14: Fasten large items to the walls and floor.

There are a number of dangers in your home that you can deal with before an earthquake strikes.Falling objects inside your house are the biggest danger.Fasten all shelves to the walls to prevent injuries.Attach wall units, bookcases, and other tall furniture with brackets.Standard steel brackets are easy to apply.Large objects can be placed on the floor or on lower shelves.The less distance they have to fall, the better.You can put objects on a desk.Non-slip mats can be used to prevent objects from sliding.There are fish bowls, vases, floral arrangements, and statues.The nylon cord is invisible and can be used to secure tall, heavy items.Attach the eye screw to the wall by tying the thread around the object and then attaching it.

Step 15: Break glass can be prevented by installing shatter-safe window films.

In a last-minute pinch, placing masking tape across the diagonals of your windows can keep them from shattering.You should check to make sure that most earthquake prone areas already have these windows.

Step 16: Breakable items can be placed in closed cabinets.

The cabinet doors can’t fly open if they’re locked up.Use poster tack to keep ornaments, figurines, and glassware in place.You can secure objects in place with special commercial putties.

Step 17: Hanging objects should be removed from above seating and sleeping areas.

Walls should be hung away from beds, couches, and anywhere that someone might sit.If you want to fix a picture hook that won’t hold pictures during an earthquake, you can either push the hook closed or use a material to fill the gap.Ensuring that heavy paintings have strong hooks and cord is one of the alternatives.

Step 18: It’s a good idea to make sure your house is up-to-date with earthquake protections.

A landlord or your local board can help you figure it out.If you have cracks in the ceiling or foundation, you should fix them immediately.If there are signs of weakness, you need to talk to an expert.All modern laws and building regulations should be complied with if your foundation is properly braced.Flexible fittings can be placed on your gas pipes.A professional is needed to do this.If you have flexible fittings on your water pipes, you should have them fixed at the same time.To secure a chimney to the walls of a house, use galvanized metal angles and bands at the top, ceiling line, and base.If you have panelling on the house, the angles can be bolted to the wall or ceiling.The part of the chimney that is above the roof-line needs to be braced.Evaluate your electrical and gas connections.If needed, do any repairs.A potential fire hazard can be caused by faulty wiring during an earthquake.Don’t drill holes in appliances when securing them.Existing holes can be used to make loops from leather.

Step 19: Prepare for earthquakes with your community.

If there aren’t civic groups in your area that are focused on earthquake preparation, you should create one.You can find meeting points, share resources, and provide support in the case of an earthquake here.