Thousands of earthquakes occur every day. However, major earthquakes are much less common. There is no effective warning system for earthquakes, so it is important to have an emergency plan in place and know how to behave when an earthquake strikes.
Prepare for an Earthquake
There are many things families, individuals, and businesses can do to prepare for an earthquake:
- Have a plan in place that allows you to find safe shelter inside, or a plan to evacuate depending on the circumstances. Establish a safe place to meet after the quake.
- Secure large appliances, such as refrigerators, water heaters, air conditioners, machinery, and other bulky items with straps, bolts, and other stabilizing methods to allow objects to withstand as much shaking as possible.
- Install latches on cabinet doors to prevent them from opening during a quake and use non-skid shelf liners for kitchen and bathroom cupboards, medicine cabinets, and closet shelves.
- Store heavy items or fragile items in lower cabinets or shelves so they do not become dangerous projectiles.
- Prepare an earthquake emergency kit with non-perishable food, bottled water, copies of important documents (birth certificates, prescriptions, insurance papers, etc.), flashlights, first aid materials, blankets, spare glasses, and other essential items and store it where it will be easily accessible in case of an emergency.
- Take a First Aid / CPR / AED course to prepare for an unexpected emergency.
- Keep cell phones charged and fresh batteries for flashlights and radios in the emergency kit.
- If you‘re inside when the shaking starts, take cover under a desk or table. Stay away from windows and objects that could fall on you.
- If you’re outside when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
- If you are driving, slow down and drive to a clear space to stop until the shaking stops. You may have to plan an alternate route to your destination if the roads have been damaged or if power lines are down.
You may have noticed that many of the precautions for earthquake safety will also apply to other natural disasters and unexpected emergency situations. Being aware of your surroundings and having a plan in place for such an incident is key to your safety.
For more information, please visit Earthquakes.