Creating an earthquake preparedness plan is the first step to preparing yourself and your loved ones for a possibility no one wants to experience.
The majority of us will never experience an earthquake that does more than rattle dishes together, but the risk is there that ‘the big one’ could hit and just like any other potential disaster that could come our way, being prepared well ahead of time increases our chances of survival.
First off, understand your location or areas risks. No State or City is immune to the potential of an earthquake, but some certainly have higher risks. All cities have emergency plans in place and it’s good to familiarize yourself with what your city would like you to do in case of a crisis.
Before An Earthquake Occurs:
- Create an emergency kit that lasts a minimum of 72 hours of food, water, gear (enough for each person in your home)
- Create a communication system – check in points/person – meeting location for your loved ones
- Locate your shut off valves for utility lines in your home
- Locate safe spots in your home like under strong tables, support beams in your home – stay away from glass or items that could turn over during an earthquake
- Hold annual earthquake drills in your home so everyone knows where to immediately go if they feel the beginning effects of an earthquake
During An Earthquake:
- If you can, quickly get to one of the safe spots you established in your earthquake drills
- Drop, cover your head and hold on until the shaking stops
- If you can’t make it to a safe zone, cover your head and try to avoid glass and furniture that could turn over on you
- Do not try to run outside during a quake
- Stay where you are UNLESS you are against a building (sidewalk) or another structure that could collapse.
- Stay where you are unless you are under utility wires
- Once the shaking has stopped, do not go near buildings or structures that could still fall
Note: If during an earthquake debris or other has fallen on you. Try to cover your nose and mouth with a cloth or shirt and take slow breaths – prevent inhaling dangerous dust and particles that could be in the air. After the quake is over, stay as still as possible, but try to find something to tap against each other to create a signal for others to find you.
After An Earthquake:
- Your personal safety comes first. Make sure nothing is about to fall on you or could injure you
- Slowly and cautiously go outside
- Avoid structures that could potentially still fall
- Expect aftershocks (which could potentially topple already damaged structures)
- Help anyone that is in need
- Follow the plans you created with your family and establish communication
- Understand that your home may be damaged and unsafe to enter – wait until authorities have said it’s Ok to return
- If you can return to your home, you need to check for gas leaks or compromised water lines
Create Your Earthquake Preparedness Plan Today:
Being prepared, both mentally and supplies, before a crisis occurs can reduce the risks, panic, confusion and fear associated with an emergency.
Create a plan today, share it with your family and have earthquake drills annually. .