Monday, June 13, 2011

Preparing for an Earthquake

I am a worrier by nature. I was born that way and I don’t suppose it will ever change. I have learned over the years, however, that even if there is nothing you can do to fix or prevent something you are worrying about, it does help to do everything you can do to prepare for it.

One of the things that we can do nothing about is an earthquake. With most storms and many disasters there is at least a little warning but with an earthquake, the only warning is another earthquake. There is no area where you are safe from an earthquake. An earthquake can happen anywhere at any time. There are a few things you can do to prepare the best you can for an earthquake.

The following ideas were put together by a preparedness specialist. As I have read through this several times, the thought has come to mind that there are a few little things that will help you worry less and be more prepared if and when that earthquake comes, and maybe be safer at the same time.

This is a checklist of sorts. As you read it, make note of any changes that you need to make in your home to be more prepare. My friend’s mother in was a California quake a few years that happened during the night. I heard tell how she had to crawl over broken glass on her hands and knees in the dark to find shoes and her glasses, and how the large picture frame above their bed resulted in shattered glass all over them. That experience has helped me reevaluate a few things in my home.


1.Store water and food supply
2.Organize a 72 hour portable emergency kit.
3.Bolt down or provide strong support for water heaters and other appliances.
4.Consider earthquake insurance
5.Make sure your important papers are in order and easily accessible

1.Stay calm.
2.If you are indoors, stay inside and find protection in a doorway, or crouch under a desk or table, away from windows or glass dividers; avoid masonry wall (brick) and chimneys (fireplaces.)
3.Outside: stand away from buildings, trees, telephone and electric lines.
4.On the road: Drive away from underpasses/overpasses; stop in a safe area; stay in the vehicle.
5.In an Office Building: Stay next to a pillar or support column or under a heavy table or desk.

1.Check for injuries. Provide first aid.
2.Check for safety - gas, water, sewage breaks; check for building damage and turn off interrupted utilities as necessary; check for building damage and potential safety problems during aftershocks, such as cracks around chimney & foundation; check for fires.
3.Clean up dangerous spills.
4.Wear shoes.
5.Tune radio to an emergency station and listen for instructions from public safety agencies.
6.Use the telephone only for emergencies.
7.As soon as possible, notify your family that you are okay.
8.Do not use matches or open flames in the home until you are sure there are no gas leaks.
9.Don't turn light switches off and on. Sparks created by the switch contacts can ignite gas fumes.
10.In public buildings, follow evacuation procedures immediately and return only after the building has been declared safe by the appropriate authorities.

1.How, where and when to turn off electricity, gas and water.
2.First aid.
3.Plan for reuniting your family.
4.Plan and practice a family drill at least once a year.

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