Simple Seven Steps For Earthquake Safety
With earthquakes having rocked Haiti, Chili, China, Baja California and most recent Randolph, Utah (that I felt); all within the first 4 months of 2010 we’ve had a lot of people ask “What should we do to prepare for an earthquake”? So today I will provide you with the Simple Seven Steps for Earthquake Safety.
Step 1: Secure it now!
The first step is a must for safety for you & your loved ones. You must secure items that could fall like bookcases, televisions, computers, water heaters, etc. By reducing the hazards of falling objects it will make your house one step closer to being Earthquake Safe. But don’t just stop at your house, better make sure your work place, school, and neighbor’s are safe from falling debris in the case of an earthquake or other disasters.
Step 2: Make a plan
With disasters people don’t plan to fail they fail to plan, so make a plan before it begins. Not only for Earthquakes but from any other emergency’s in your area so you will have a game plan. It’s important to set up a friend or family member who lives out of state to be the family’s point of contact, due to the disaster that struck the local phone lines could be affected so that’s what makes it ideal to have a contact our of state. You might be worried it might be hard to have a plan? if you can plan a vacation you can plan make sure your family has a well thought out plan of action and decide upon a meeting area to go to when the earthquake is over. If you have young children and are unsure of the proper plan of action for your family, contact your local school or childcare center to get ideas on how to develop an appropriate strategy. By planning now, you will be ready for the next emergency.
Step 3: Make disaster kits
When a disaster strikes you don’t want to be going through your kitchen shelf’s trying to pull together supplies in case your house could be compromised in the disaster. That’s when having a 72-Hour kit is a must in the case of an emergency, but having emergency supplies readily available can reduce the impact that your family will be facing. Simple items that you should include in your disaster kit is water, food, radio, flashlights, first-aid kit, and extra medications if health conditions require. (please check with your doctor if you have any questions)
Step 4: Is your place safe?
If you are a homeowner or a renter you might not know that your house is not as safe as it could be, there are things you can do to improve the integrity of your house. Depending on when your house was built you might consider talking with a contractor or engineer regarding your weaknesses of your house. Common weaknesses are unenforced masonry, defective or inadequate foundation, and vulnerable pipes to name the least. If You Live in a Mobile Home you should look under your home. If you only see a metal or wood “skirt” on the outside with concrete blocks or steel tripods or jacks supporting your home, you need to have an “engineered tie-down system” or an “earthquake-resistant bracing system” (ERBS) installed. While codes have been updated in your City/State, the older buildings are still in place and could not be up to code. Fixing problems in older buildings is the responsibility of the building’s owner and if you are not the first home owner of the house you should talk to your local contractor or engineer for more information regarding codes.
Step 5: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON!
If you ask your kids what they get tough at school about earthquakes they will tell you about the drills. Where they play an audio file over the sound system to simulate the sounds to be expected, and once that occurs staff and students are to drop to the ground, get under a desk & hold firmly to the leg and expect to have the the table move around when the earthquake occurs. Since the book shelf’s where secured by the school (step 1) it will minimize the the falling debris and will help minimize injuries and fatality’s. After the earthquake the students will follow the teacher out of the building & perform a head count just like a fire drill. Its a simple plan (step 2) and its best if you follow the same rules in the case of an emergency.
Step 6: Check it out!
After the disaster strikes and everyone is all out side check for injuries and attend to them. Since you had your 72-Hour kit, (step 3) you are able to have access to first-aid supplies & administer first aid to the injured. If you don’t know how to administer first-aid supplies to the injured or afflicted then it would be ideal to take some classes to learn some basic first aid training. For those that are not hurt and willing to identify any hazards of the area like downed electrical lines, gas, sewage, and water pipes. Since you have a plan (step 2) you will be able to report if any thing is damaged to your local gas & power company’s and then you can contact your out of state family regarding your situation and they can relay any messages to your family member’s.
Step 7: Communicate and recover!
Stay informed during the emergency, but how you might wonder? Well lucky for you in your 72-Hour kit (step 3) you have your portable radio in there! You will find that you might be listing to the emergency broadcast system informing you of needed information & safety advisories. When ever their is a presidential-declared disaster many resources will also be available from local, state, and federal agencies. Once you get the all clear then its ideal to go home & check for damages. Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to start the claim process, for more information contact your insurance agent regarding information on home owner safety.
I hope you found this information useful but if you do not live in an area that is affected by earthquakes but do have friends or family located in the area’s that do get affected by earthquakes, please forward this email to them and hope this will help them if an earthquake does strike.