EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS AND SURVIVAL
EARTHQUAKE SAFETY MEASURES
- Identify potential hazards in your home. Use your common sense, foresight and your imagination to minimize your risk in the event of an earthquake or large explosion.
- Take a survey of your home by writing down each potential hazard that you see.
- Proactively take steps to correct or mitigate these potential hazards. Maybe you don’t have time to do them all in one day or weekend, maybe you can’t afford to do them all at once but at least start with one thing on your list and do it. Next weekend or next payday do another. Most of the things that you can do either don’t cost anything or are inexpensive to do. Like moving heavy objects to lower shelves, installing cabinet latches in your kitchen or taking pictures off the wall around your bed.
- Affix tall, heavy furniture (which could fall) to the wall studs.
- Anchor hot water heaters to the wall studs with an approved support system.
- Change yourself or have a professional change any ridged gas line connectors. Most gas companies will assist you by installing flexible gas lines that your can purchase. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE HOW TO WORK WITH GAS LINES AND GAS APPLIANCES, YOU MUST HAVE A PROFESSIONAL DO THE WORK.
- Mount all picture frames and mirrors so that they are not able to move or fall off the wall.
- Move any breakable or heavy items to lower shelves. All kitchen cabinets should have safety latches.
- You should store flammable liquids securely and away from any open flame.
- Inspect and securely attach to the house any masonry chimneys.
AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
- All of the literature on survival states the first thing to do is STAY CALM. This is an easy thing for people to type or suggest but in fact, it is the second most important part of survival. Studies have proved that the first most important part of survival is preparation. If you are prepared then you will have the ability to stay calm. You will have the reassurance that you have the right equipment for the job. Staying calm and using common sense gives you and your loved ones the best chance of surviving any disaster.
- Put out any fires. Don’t use matches or candles until you are sure that there are no gas leaks.
- Grab your emergency survival kit/pack.
- Use your flashlight and check for injuries and treat the injured with first aid.
- If there are any injuries, try to call for medical assistance. If you cannot get through the local emergency number such as 9-1-1, try calling the person on your out-of-state contact list. If you are able to get through to that person (or anyone), explain as best you can the details of the injuries.
- Don’t attempt to move severely injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
- Cover the person with blankets to prevent shock.
- Wear heavy shoes and gloves near fallen debris and broken glass.
- Do not touch any downed power lines.
- Check gas, water and electrical lines. Check appliances for damage.
- If you smell gas, see a broken line or are instructed to do so by local authorities, shut off the gas at the main valve. Everyone in your household should know where the valve is and the shut-off wrench should be already located at the valve.
- Turn on battery/solar powered radio to get instructions and information.
- Clean up any dangerous chemicals, glass, medicines, or water.
- Do not flush toilets until you are sure that there are no sewage leaks.
- Do not use tap water for drinking, cooking or bathing until it is deemed safe by the local water department. Use emergency survival water supply until you know for sure that it is ok to drink the regular water.
- Check the building for damage and cracks. Do not use the fireplace until it is inspected.
- Check cabinets and closets. Open carefully and beware of falling objects.
- Watch for falling objects when you enter or leave buildings. Do not enter severely damaged structures.
- Do not use you your vehicle, unless there is an emergency. Some people are compelled to drive around to see all of the damage. This may put you at risk and also hamper the relief effort. Emergency vehicles need to be able to get around rendering aid and assistance as needed.
- Be prepared for aftershocks. These can cause additional damage and make things worse. Already compromised structures such as chimneys, bridges, electrical lines, etc., may be damaged even more creating additional risk.
- If you are near a large body of water such as a dam be prepared to evacuate to higher ground.
- If you do evacuate, post a message (in clear view) where you are going and anybody that is with you.
- Go to the pre-designated meeting place agreed upon in your disaster plan.
- Try to contact your out-of-state and local contacts until you are able to reach someone. Let them know where you are, who is with you and your condition.
- If you do evacuate, make sure that you take all of your survival kits, packs and supplies with you. This should include your radio, flashlight, food, water and other items that should be all ready to go in a moment’s notice. Hopefully you have planned it out so that you can literally grab and go.
GET PREPARED TO SURVIVE!