Among the different natural disasters, EARTHQUAKES are probably one of the scariest as it is also one of the most unpredictable. So how do you survive a major earthquake? The answer to this question is critical most especially if you live in an area near a fault line like the San Andreas Fault. If you have seen the movie San Andreas, I’m sure you know how serious and scary things can be if an earthquake as strong as that happens. This is not to scare you or anything but rather to help you prepare of what is to come.
BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE
Being prepared is everything when this type of disaster occurs.
Prepare and make sure you have food and water, first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, medication, radio and a fire extinguisher at home. You should have enough supply of food and water for at least 72 hours or a week.
Learn first aid.
Learn how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity.
Decide and make up a plan of how and where your family will reunite if separated during a quake.
Learn the earthquake plan at your school or workplace.
DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes.
This is the best thing to do to protect yourself during an earthquake. DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand / get under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture. HOLD ON until shaking stops.
If you’re indoors – stay inside until shaking stops and its safe to go outside. Get under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture. Stand against an interior wall and stay away from windows, hanging objects, heavy furniture, glass, outside walls, and anything that could fall.
If you’re outdoors – Stay outside and get into the open. Move away from buildings, streetlights, utility wires, and anything else that could fall on you.
If you’re bed – Don’t get out of bed. Lie face down to protect vital organs, make sure to hold on and protect your head with a pillow.
If you’re in a building – Do not use the elevators. Be aware that sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on. Do not try to exit the building during the shaking.
If you’re driving – Pull over, stop and stay inside the vehicle. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped and watch out for road hazards.
If you’re near the shore – As soon as the earthquake stops, get to higher ground immediately as there is a possibility for a tsunami. Don’t wait for officials to issue a warning.
AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for anyone who needs it. Organize rescue efforts if people are trapped under debris or call for emergency assistance.
Check for fire or fire hazards. If any are damaged, shut it off. If you smell gas, open all doors and windows, leave, and report it to authorities.
Turn on the radio and only use your phone for emergency.
Expect that there will be aftershocks.
Stay away from beaches as there is a possibility for a tsunami.
Be aware and careful about broken glass and debris esp in your home.
Bring your emergency kit with you if you need to leave the house.
If you need help, indicate that by placing a sign in your window with the word “SOS” or “HELP” in large writing.