An earthquake is different from other natural hazards such as a hurricane because it comes without warning. Earthquakes can occur at any time of the day or night. People living in areas that are prone to earthquakes can take measures to minimize the risk of injuries or property damage.
Here are some steps to take before, during, and after an earthquake.
Before the earthquake
- Start by assessing your home and its contents. The house needs to be retrofitted for an earthquake in case there are weaknesses in its structure. Ensure that the contents of the house will not fall in the event of an earthquake. If something seems tenuously positioned, ensure that you anchor it in place. Unsecured objects might cause injuries to family members.
- Make an earthquake action plan. Orient each family member about what to do, where to go, what to take, and where to meet in case you have to evacuate.
- Prepare an earthquake emergency kit that the family can access in a hurry as they are evacuating. Include water, non-perishable food items, extra clothing, medicine, and a first-aid kit.
- Prepare an evacuation plan for the family, designating a location where family members should meet up after evacuating.
During the earthquake
After the earthquake begins, you can stay safer by getting down on your hands and knees and covering your head and neck with your arms. This can shield your vital body parts from falling objects. Stay away from windows and anything that could fall. Do not attempt to go anywhere until you are sure that it is safe to do so.
After the earthquake
Once the shaking stops, check yourself and the members of your family for any injuries. Administer first aid if required. After attending to the members of the family, check on your neighbors who might need help.
Shut off the water, gas, and electricity lines to prevent fires. If necessary, leave your home and proceed to an evacuation center, taking your earthquake emergency supplies with you.
Have you experienced an earthquake? What did you do? Were you able to follow safety tips and precautions that are often given by government agencies and other public? If you did, good for you, however, it does not apply to all individuals. Keep it in your mind and heart by having this infographic in your wallet.