When rock under the earth’s surface shifts suddenly and rapidly, it causes an earthquake. They may attack at any time of year, at any moment, and there is no warning.
Earthquakes may happen anywhere in the United States, and these areas, known as “fault zones,” are particularly vulnerable. States on the west coast, in the south, and the country’s middle fall under this category.
There are 45 states and territories in the United States that may be at risk of earthquakes from moderate to a high levels. Even though big earthquakes are very infrequent, earthquakes of a lesser magnitude may still be harmful.
Preparation, planning, and practice are the keys to surviving an earthquake and minimizing your chances of injuries. Take the time to learn how to protect your loved ones.
How to Prepare for an Earthquake:
Here are some strategies and tactics that you can use and apply before an Earthquake:
1. Be aware of the warning signs of an earthquake.
A roar or thundering sound progressively becomes louder during an earthquake. Some people report rolling sensations that begin gradually but quickly become severe.
2. Be aware of the safe locations.
- These large falling items include bookshelves, cabinets and even heating systems, the most common causes of earthquake-related fatalities and injuries.
- Make sure you know where the safest places are in your house. If you’re already in bed, a good place to hide is beneath a thick table or your blankets with a pillow over your head.
None of us can predict the time or location of an earthquake, but you can prepare yourself and your families before one occurs. Today, practise earthquake safety and create a strategy for earthquake preparation.
3. Prepare your house in case of an earthquake
- Keep yourself and your family safe. Remove anything that may fall off a shelf or table and damage someone else, such as books. Use fasteners to attach additional things to the walls and the floor.
- Avoid electrical fires by keeping an eye on your home’s main electrical panel and the required switches that you may turn off.
- A fire extinguisher should be kept in a visible area.
Remember to write down all of your emergency exits and safe areas, or if there are none, set up an assembly point in an open location away from any high-hanging trees or light poles.
4. Make a strategy for emergency evacuation
In an earthquake, you and others you care about may have to leave a destroyed region. You’ll be better able to react to warning signals of danger or directives from civil authorities if you’ve planned and practised an evacuation.
Make sure you and your family have an escape plan in place in the event of an emergency. Determine the layout of your house, go through the rooms, and talk about evacuation plans. If you live near a dam, be aware of your flood zone.
- If at all feasible, devise a second route out of any room or location. Make a note of the location of any unique equipment you may require, such as a rope ladder.
- Note where your emergency supplies (including food, water, and first aid supplies) and firefighting equipment are placed.
- Identify the location of an outside gathering spot for your family in case of an emergency.
5. Stock up on emergency supplies
When it comes to emergencies, drinking water is a must. Have three to five days’ worth of drinking water on hand if you are stranded and need to wait for rescue. You should have a well-stocked first-aid kit.
For instance, an asthma inhaler, diabetes medicine, and other prescription drugs should all be on hand for your and your family’s sake.
Keep tins of food with easy-to-open lids on hand and a can opener, matches, batteries, and other emergency supplies.
You should have a well-stocked first-aid kit. Make sure you have a supply of bandages and antibiotic potions and feminine hygiene products, and basic painkillers.
Make sure you have blankets, a change of clothing, and a raincoat on hand in case the structure has completely collapsed and you need to stay dry.
6. Drop, Cover, and Hold On drills
DROP: Drop on your hands and knees wherever you may be. Keep yourself from being struck down by keeping your body in this posture.
COVER: Cover your neck and head with one arm and one hand. If there is a desk or table nearby, use it as a place to hide. Crawl along an interior wall away from windows if there is no shelter.
HOLD: If you’re in a place of safety, grasp onto it with your free hand. Hold on to your head and neck with both of your arms and hands if there is no refuge.
7. Keep an emergency list of emergency phone numbers
- A list of emergency contacts that all family members can access should be kept in every household. Create an ICE (In Case of Emergency) folder on everyone’s phones, or create a document and make sure everybody has a copy.
- Include the phone numbers of your city cops, fire, and ambulance departments, as well as those of close family members and the Disaster Management Unit for your district.
8. Assess earthquake insurance
Most home insurance plans exclude earthquakes. For information about earthquakes, contact the state’s Earthquake Authority.
Some Tips to prepare your house for an Earthquake:
- If you notice any cracks or problems in the foundation or walls of your house, you should get them repaired as soon as possible.
- Store all flammable materials in the garage or another out-of-door location instead of in your home’s living spaces. Store them away from heat sources, such as a water heater or stove, to help avoid a fire
- In the case of an earthquake, big appliances should be disengaged or removed from their rollers.
- Sheet metal straps may be used to secure a chimney if you have one in your house. You may also want to install angle bracing to your chimney to prevent it from separating from your house.
- Locate all of your home’s primary shutdown valves and switches, including water, gas, and electricity. Have everyone in the family practice turning them off.
- Make sure to hang heavy artwork or mirrors away from furniture where you spend a lot of time. Secure these pieces to the wall studs using wire and eye screws.
- Most earthquake-related injuries are caused by falling items. Room-by-room, transfer heavier items from top shelves to lower ones as you go.
- Set fasteners on kitchen cabinets to keep them closed in the event of an earthquake.
Earthquakes come unexpectedly, but you do not need to be blindsided. Follow the steps above to help prepare your home and family for a possible earthquake.