Earthquake is the fact of life, and we have to learn how to survive. Reading these earthquake safety tips will prepare you for before, during and after the earthquake. Actually, taking precautions is the only thing we can do for this natural disaster. In order to that, we build earthquake-resistant buildings, prepare earthquake survival kits and go bags, etc. But since earthquakes are sudden and inevitable, and aftershocks may cause more damage than the first strike, we make a checklist for you that you can use before, during and after the earthquake.
Precautions to be taken before the Earthquake
- Learn about the earthquake hazard of the settlement you live in
- Earthquake-resistant buildings are way safer to live in.
- You should inform your family, friends, and neighbors about what to do in case of an earthquake, especially your children.
- Test lying down, protect your head and hold onto something and teach your children.
- Fasten heavy furniture, bookshelf, cupboards, and appliances to the walls or floor.
- Place your fragile items on the lower shelves of your kitchen cabinet so that they do not fall on you.
- How you position your furniture is also important. During the earthquake, you will need an easy way out to run.
- Set a solid place in each room where nothing will fall on you.
- Make an earthquake emergency kit that contains flashlight, radio, batteries, first-aid kit, necessary medication, a gauntlet gloves, a whistle, and a satellite phone. These phones are great tools for communication in case of disasters and considered as “The Must-Have When Reporting on Disasters” by NY Times.
- Make sure you have an earthquake kit for car.
What to do During an Earthquake
- Stay Calm! Because panic can cause you to do wrong practices and increase the risk.
- If you are in the building;
- If you are not too close to the building exit, stay inside the building.
- Crouch or lay on the floor without bat around and wait till the shaking ends. Notice that the “Triangle of Life” is a misguided idea to occupy during an earthquake. Based on observations of an earthquake in Turkey, the idea doesn’t apply to buildings constructed within the United States.
- Stay away from the balcony, stairs, windows and the elevator.
- Find a solid desk, furniture or door frame to take cover especially for your head.
- If you have an earthquake emergency kit, it is better to keep it nearby.
- If you are outside of the building;
- Stay away from the buildings, glass or anything might fall.
- Power lines and lampposts are dangerous, so make sure that you are far away from them.
- Do not stay nearby the roads and traffic.
- If you are driving;
- Stop if you are in a safe position which is far from buildings and traffic.
- Avoid bridges, overpasses, and tunnels.
- Stay in the car.
- Make sure your earthquake kit for car is easy to reach.
After the Earthquake
- There will be aftershocks, be prepared for them.
- After checking yourself, make sure your family is not injured. If you need and do not know first-aid, call for an ambulance.
- Keep your family together.
- When leaving your building, take your precious items, tick clothes, blankets, some food, and water.
- Wear shoes or boots to move around safely.
- If your building is damaged, do not enter.
- If water, gas, or electric lines are damaged, turn off the valves. Do not use flammable products and call authorities.
- Only follow the statements of the local authorities.
- Turn on the radio.
- Using your phone will cause unnecessary traffic and won’t help the authorities. Use your satellite phone for communication, because cell-phone infrastructure can get damaged or destroyed during a natural disaster.
- Follow the emergency plan and go to the closest emergency assembly area.
If you need more information about earthquake safety tips, Ready.gov is a great source for that.