Nov 5, 2011

What You Should Do If an Earthquake Strikes

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes you need to know what to do. Even if you don't live in such an area you should have some knowledge of how to protect yourself because you might end up travelling within a region that is prone to quakes and you could find yourself caught up in one. If you live in an area that experiences regular earthquakes then it is essential that you protect your assets by having home and contents insurance, which will cover your furniture, personal belongings, your Westinghouse fridge, computer equipment and clothes.

Where to go during an earthquake
You need to know where the safest place to be is if an earthquake was to happen. Inside the safest place to be is under a table or if there is no furniture to get under you should stand against an interior walls. You should try to keep as far away from windows as possible.

What to do if you are outside
If you happen to be outside when an earthquake strikes the best place you can be is well away from any buildings, trees or anywhere that anything could fall down on you. If you are near a hill side you will need to watch for falling rocks. If an earthquake starts you need to try not to panic and move to the most open area you can find.

You should have an emergency supply kit organised no matter where you live, even if earthquakes don't happen in your area. Other things could happen like storms or flash floods so it is important to be prepared. You should have a stock of emergency supplies such as fresh bottled water, tinned food, a battery operated radio with some extra batteries, a torch with spare batteries, a first aid kit and medical supplies, blankets, plenty of warm clothing and some basic tools, such as spanners, a hammer, screw drivers and a saw.

A safe home

You can help keep yourself safe by arranging your home so that if an earthquake hits then heavy objects are not placed up high where they can fall on you. Heavy books, vases, pots and pans and anything else of this nature should be stored in lower shelves and any breakables shut behind cabinets that can lock. Don't hang heavy mirrors or pictures above where people often sit or sleep.
It is also a good idea to anchor down heavy objects such as fridges, washing machines and other appliances.

After the earthquake has finished you should turn off your utilities, such as the gas and electricity at the mains. This is where you might need your tools.

You need to make sure that you not injured before going to find anybody else. If the building you are in seems to be unstable you need to get yourself and everyone else out. Don't put yourself in unnecessary danger. There may be gas leaks so check you can't smell gas. Turn off the power and gas if you can.

Related source: Earthquake retrofitting


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