Disaster Prep Summer Series: Earthqakes

If you live in a part of the world that is prone to earthquakes, it is important to know how to protect yourself and your family.  Earthquakes are unique in that they happen without any warning.  Other disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes can be predicted and spotted ahead of time to give people time to get out of the way.  Because of this, it is vital to be prepared for earthquakes all the time.  Keep your 72 hour kit, car emergency kit (see next post) stocked at all times and if you work outside the home, maybe consider having a small kit in your office.  Be prepared to get stuck because roads can be disrupted by damage or debris.

Photo by CIR Online

Before an Earthquake:
Have your kits well stocked
Consider Earthquake insurance for your home.
Secure any items that might fall during a quake (bookcases, TVs, picture frames) as they can call and cause an injury.
Be aware and take note of where the safe areas in your house are.  Somewhere away from any windows as the glass may shatter and away from anything that might fall on you.
Learn to shut off the gas to your house and have the appropriate tools near the shutoff to do so.

During an Earthquake:
Move to a safe area quickly and stay there.  Do NOT move around during an earthquake.  Find the safe area in the room you are in or if you are right by an exterior door, go outside away from any structures and stay there.
If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road and stay clear of any overpasses and bridges.

After an Earthquake:
Be prepared for aftershocks.  These can even be stronger than the earthquake itself.
Check everyone for any injuries.
Check your house for damage and evacuate if unsafe.
If your house is safe, carefully check all cabinets, shelves and closets for any items that may have shifted or fallen.
Expect issues with roads, power lines and traffic lights and plan accordingly.

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