Earthquake Preparedness and Safety Tips

It’s easy to panic during the chaos of an earthquake. Focusing on emergency preparedness planning before the tremors start can avoid damage and injury. A little earthquake preparedness can go a long way.

Earthquake Preparedness and Safety Tips

For those living on fault lines, it’s essential to have regular earthquake drills, so responses during an actual earthquake become automatic. Being aware of earthquake safety is especially important because many quakes last only seconds.

Family members should be mindful of what to do, where the safe places are in a room (for example, along interior walls or under a sturdy desk or table), and what areas to avoid, such as windows or walls with objects hung on them. Families should also have a plan for reuniting after a disaster.

Scientists have not yet really determined a way to predict an earthquake. That is why, when a strong earthquake strikes, a lot of people gets injured, or even killed, and properties gets damaged. The only thing we can do, if we live in an area near fault lines, is to be prepared everyday for such eventualities.

Earthquake Preparedness and Safety Tips:

Before an earthquake is also an excellent time to stock up on emergency supplies. An earthquake emergency kit should contain bottled water, candles, flashlights with batteries, a battery-operated radio, non-perishable food (including food for family pets and a manual can opener), and a basic first-aid kit.

You will never know what will happen after a quake, thus, you should always have an emergency kit for everyone in your household. Each kit must contain at least one gallon of water, food supply for at least three days (you should select non-perishable food), and a first aid kit.

You should ensure that you regularly change the food and water in your emergency kit. The food and water in your kit will be of little use if they are already not fit to eat or drink. Instead of saving your life, such might even exacerbate your situation.

Know where the Mains are

Earthquakess might cause fire from gas leaks and electricity. Thus, it is important that you know where the main switches of your utilities are so that you can turn them off when needed.

Other ways to prepare a home for an earthquake:

  • Ensure that heave appliances and furniture are anchored to the ground
  • Heavy items like mirrors or pictures should not be hung on walls over couches, beds, or chairs
  • Heavy objects should be stored on lower shelves, and flammable products should be kept latched in cabinets on bottom shelves

What To Do During An Earthquake

This is a big part of Earthquake Preparedness: knowing what to do when it is happening. Those who are indoors during an earthquake should remain inside, and move to somewhere safe in the home.

The first thing you and your family should do is to stay away from objects that might fall off. Stay away from book cases, cabinets, and hanging objects, such as chandeliers, or ceiling fan.

During an earthquake, it is wiser that you stay put, particularly under sturdy tables or door frames. Do not run around or even attempt to get out of the house. There are more dangerous things outside your house that could injure you, such as lampposts and cars.

Those standing against a wall should protect their heads with their arms and hands, while those taking cover under a sturdy table should grab hold of it so they can move with it.

Those who are outdoors during an earthquake should move to an open space, out of the path of potential falling objects, and away from trees, power lines, and buildings.

Make sure that the emergency kit that you prepared is easily accessible. If possible, place it in a location where you and your family will run into during a quake.

Stay away from the kitchen. One of the most dangerous places in the house during an earthquake is the kitchen because there are many pots and pans hanging around and drawers full of knives and cutlery. Furthermore, there is a danger of a gas leak in the kitchen that might cause fire.

If you are outside

Those outdoors should remain in the open space until the shaking stops. Those who are driving when an earthquake starts should pull over and remain in their cars. Drivers should avoid stopping on overpasses, under bridges or underpasses, or by power lines and large trees.

What To Do After An Earthquake

The first thing to do after an earthquake is to assist anyone who may have been injured in the quake. Once injuries have been assessed, the next step is to check the building for earthquake damage. If the building seems to be damaged, residents should leave quickly and carefully, as the building may need to be inspected by professionals.

Earthquake Preparedness

Do not attempt to light a match or a candle immediately after the quake; you are not sure if there are gas leaks. Lighting up a match might ignite a fire, so be very careful. If you can, shut off the main gas valve if you smell gas.

If a gas leak is suspected, the area must be evacuated immediately, and the fire department and gas company notified. If the power is out, large appliances should be unplugged to avoid damage from a power surge when the electricity is turned back on.

You should also call the gas company once you are away from the gas leak. Do not try to call, especially using your mobile phone, near gas leaks.

If sparks or broken wires can be seen, or if burnt insulation is smelled, the power should be turned off at the source. If turning off the circuit breakers or fuse box means stepping in water, an electrician should be consulted before proceeding further.

There will sure be aftershocks after an earthquake, so do not let your guard down even if your house is intact and all the members of your family are well. Be sure to check the news for information about the quake and other important updates.

Can you think of anything we missed? Let us know!

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What To Put On Your Disaster Prepper Check List

You can only predict some natural disasters like hurricanes and a possible volcanic eruption, but mother nature has her way even then. What we expect sometimes turns out to come in different forms and forces us to make other plans on the spot.

However, if we had plans in place, it wouldn’t have been so hard to adjust to any change in the conditions. For a fact, when a natural disaster strikes, you may have little or no time to get particular stuff done, which should have already been in place.

The best bet…prepare now and be on the safe side even if it doesn’t come! Planning is the best way to cope and protect yourself and your family in the case of an emergency. But what is the best way to know what you need to have and do? Create Disaster Prepper Check List.

Prepper Check List

What To Put On Your Disaster Prepper Check List

Why Have A Disaster Prepper Check List?

A disater preparedness checklist is the best way to be sure you have all the items you need and what you should do when an emergency arises. It provides a guide for the entire family and reduces the risk of potential panicking. When you create a checklist, discuss it with your family as well as put it up around the home where everyone can see it (refrigerator, notice board, or even in the kitchen).

To protect your community by extension, you can check with your local office or authorities about the disaster which may happen in the area. Checklists come in many different forms, and all are vitally important. When planning, you need to:  

Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit

This task is, by far, one of the most important stages of preparing for an emergency. You can store the items in a backpack or travel bag (or whatever you deem fit) that is portable and can move with when rushing. This kit includes:

  • Water – Every member you are preparing for should have enough drinking and cooking water to serve for a few weeks or months (an estimated one gallon per person per day).
  • Non-perishable Foods – These include canned foods or those packaged foods (no refrigeration needed).
  • Clothing – Rain gear, sturdy boots, and warm clothes
  • Blankets, sleeping bags or sponges
  • Medication (including prescription), and first aid kit (bandage tape, rubbing alcohol, pain killers, cotton, etc.)
  • Battery-powered flashlights, radios (and fans if needed), and a few packs of batteries
  • Cash and credit card (you never know if you may need to purchase something along the way!)
  • Extra set of car and house keys
  • Emergency contact numbers including contacts for the family doctor(s)
  • Personal and essential documents should be kept in a fire and water-proof holder (ID, Driver’s License, Passport, Birth Certificates, etc.)
  • Important items necessary for infants and the elderly (such as unique serial numbers for medical devices like glasses, wheelchairs, pacemakers, etc.)

There are other items you can add to the kit as you deem fit, which you may need if you have to move out.

Disaster Preparedness Checklist

Contact Your Local Emergency Management Office(s)

Are you aware of potential disasters or emergency activities prone to your area? If not, contacting your emergency management office is the best option. They will have all the information you need to help you to prepare adequately. You can find out details such as:

  • Disasters that happen most in the area
  • The best way to prepare for any potential disaster
  • How they issue warnings in an impending disaster (so you can keep your radio or television on)
  • The evacuation routes for the area
  • Possible assistance for infants, elderly and the disabled

It is also essential to check your workplace emergency plans, your school, and that of your children (including daycare).

Emergency Family Planning

Every family needs to have a time they set aside to discuss details should an emergency strike. Enlighten them about disasters such as fire, weather, earthquakes, and more are essential.

Also, the response action for each should be detailed. A safe spot in the home should a disaster strike is necessary and should have all the emergency items listed in the kit above. However, when choosing this location, ensure there is an alternative escape you other than the main entrance. But what should you discuss with your family? Here is a guide on what you may talk about:

  • Power outages and how to respond to them
  • What to do in case you get injured during the emergency
  • Design a floor plan and highlight two escape routes for each room
  • How to disable the power, water and gas switches should the need arise
  • Distribute a list of all emergency contacts as well as place them beside home phones. You should also discuss when it is necessary to call 911 or any other emergency contact. Also, give a local and out of state friend and family contact should there be separation during an emergency. (The central communication point will be able to provide location and whereabouts of each member).
  • Central assemble areas close to your home and out of the area in case you have to evacuate.
Prepper Check List

Discuss basic first aid and CPR practices (demonstrate if needed) Discuss essential details such as:

  • Before opening a door, check the bottom of the said door with the palm. If the door is hot, then it is safer to use another escape route (during a fire).
  • In case of a fire, it is safer to stay low on the ground and crawl to safety.

You should also consider having the following items when preparing for an emergency:

  • A collapsible ladder if one has to escape from a high-rise building
  • A fire extinguisher (one that all family members can operate)
  • A whistle to alert unsuspecting family members of an emergency
  • Smoke detectors
  • Water sprinklers

Be Flexible & Proactive With An Escape Plan

You need an escape plan for every type of emergency, as not all require the same. You should develop a plan for your home and discuss it with your family because emergency calls for flexibility and fast action. Detail every route and how to get there no matter what area of the house you are.

Also, a note to add, putting emergency kits close to evacuation routes, is ideal, and you can grab on the way out. This detailed plan should show everything that is required (highlight the gas, water and electrical switches in different colors, etc.) Once you highlight all escape routes, emergency kit location, switches, and other necessary ems, you need to point a safe area outside where all family members should meet (driveway, lawn, poolside, play area, etc.).

However, the best way to know if everyone understands it is to practice. At least twice per year, one should do a mock emergency evacuation drill.

Your Car

Your car could be a critical tool in case of an emergency, and you have to travel out of the area or even stay put for a while. As such, having a disaster preparedness checklist for this is important! Having a ready kit will go a far way. For this kit, you should have:

  • Battery-powered flashlight and radio (with extra batteries)
  • Blankets and other items of clothing for you and the family
  • Fire Extinguishers (you can research which is best to use)
  • Booster cables
  • First aid kit and medical kit
  • Water and non-perishable foods
  • Spare tire and kit (air pumps, etc.)
  • Charging cables for your phone

Additional Tips To Consider:

  • Prepare pet evacuation
  • Design home with an emergency in mind (strap large appliances to walls or ground, hang picture and glasses away from the bed, store hazardous chemicals in non-leak containers, fasten shelves to prevent falling, etc.)
  • Repair defective wiring and gas leaks
  • Other actions you feel are necessary.

Emergency happens when it sees fit, and though you may prepare, one still has to be on their guard. Last, but certainly not the least, if you have to evacuate, remember to lock your doors as not everyone is up to good while a disaster is on. Stay safe and alive!

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