Earthquakes can be one of the most terrifying things to live through, especially if it’s your first time, you were unprepared, or you don’t know what’s happening. All three of these things applied to me when I was visiting family the first time I experienced this scary natural occurrence. While the one I experienced was only a 3.2 on the Richter Scale it still felt like control over my situation was lost and that I was in danger, even if for only a few minutes. Luckily my relatives who had lived along the fault line for many years reassured with their tips for preparation and surviving earthquakes. Here are ten tips that could keep you and your loved ones safe in the case of being caught in this natural disaster.
1. Be Prepared to Act– Know exactly what to do and where to go during an earthquake. Since these are usually fast happening you will need to know how to get to a safe place no matter what situation you are in at the time.
2. Emergency Supplies– As with many other natural disasters it won’t hurt to stock up on important emergency supplies you may need at a later date. Good options include first aid kits, bottled water, canned food, and flashlights among any other essential products.
3. Arrange– Make sure that if you live or work in an area that is prone to earthquakes that you arrange your belongings and furniture accordingly. Make sure to store heavy items low, put breakable items in more secure locations, and to bolt or latch down any large furniture that could slide. This will help prevent damage and injury to you, your family, or your coworkers.
4. Stay Calm– One of the biggest risks to someone during an earthquake is the tendency to panic and lose control. Keeping a cool head could prevent you from sustaining an injury during one of these events. Protect your face,stay either inside or outside, and stay in a covered area until the ground has settled.
5. Outdoors– If you are caught outdoors, move away from any power lines, tall buildings, or structures that may fall and cause you injury. For best protection it is recommended to drop to the ground quickly and cover your head and neck.
6. Be Reassuring– After an earthquake it’s important to remain calm. Check others for injuries and reassure children that the event has passed. Provide limited first aid as needed but refrain from moving someone who is seriously injured to prevent further damage.
7. Expect Round Two– After a larger scale earthquake there can be continuous tremors and aftershock that may last for up to an hour. While they are typically less severe it never hurts to stay on the safe side.
8. No Power– Be prepared to live with no electricity for a day or two and possibly longer. Know how to move around your surroundings without injury and have food and drinks that require no preparation.
9. Exercise Caution– If you must leave your surroundings, be extremely careful as you don’t know the full effects the earthquake might have had. Be on the lookout for broken glass, fallen debris, and downed power lines as potential hazards.
10. Emergencies Only– After an earthquake, only use your cellular or land-line phone for emergencies. Your family from the East Coast don’t need to know what just happened right away. Many people will be calling for help with injuries or other problems and you will not want to tie up the lines for other more important matters.
These ten tips will help keep you an your loved ones safe when enduring the next earthquake you encounter. Staying safe is priority number one during natural disasters and should be carried out in any way possible.
Earthquake Safety Tips- National Geographic
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