Despite scientists’ increasing abilities to predict the severity of coming earthquakes, for people who live in earthquake-prone areas, the best you can do is prepare for the worst.
Before The Earthquake:
Prepare an Emergency Kit
You will never know what will happen during or after an earthquake, thus, you should always have an emergency kit for everyone in your household. Each kit must contain at least one gallon of water, food supply for at least three days (non-perishable food is best), and a first aid kit.
You should ensure that you regularly change out the food and water in your emergency kit while they’re in storage. The supplies in your kit will be useless (and even dangerous) if the food is expired or the water is contaminated. Instead of saving your life, your life may be endangered.
Make sure the emergency kit is easily accessible, and if possible, place it in a location where you and your family will run into during a quake.
Know The Mains of Your Utilities
Earthquake might cause fire from gas leaks and electricity. Thus, it is important that you know where the main switches of your utilities are so that you can turn them off when needed.
Inspect Your House For Cracks and Fissures
You must regularly check the condition of your house to ensure that it can withstand even a strong earthquake. Be sure to have the cracks on your walls, chimney, and even door frames fixed. If you live in an apartment, report cracks and fissures to your landlord immediately, so the damage can be repaired as soon as possible.
Have An Evacuation Plan
You and your family must make an emergency plan for disasters such as fire, floods, and earthquakes. Each member of the family should know what to do in case of such incidents. You will be able to protect your family better if you prepare them earlier. Panic and confusion often lead to injuries accidents.
During The Earthquake:
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
While the quake is ongoing, stay away from any and all objects that may fall or collapse. Keep your distance from things like bookcases, cabinets, and hanging objects such as chandeliers or ceiling fans.
If you can, take shelter under something sturdy like a table or a door frame. Don’t run around or even attempt to get out of the house. You could easily be crushed trying to escape, plus, there are even more dangerous things outside, such as lampposts and cars.
Avoid The Kitchen
The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous rooms during an earthquake due to the pots, pans, knives, and cutlery that can fall or even be flung around. Furthermore, there is a danger of a gas leak in the kitchen that might cause fire.
After The Earthquake:
Do not attempt to light a match or a candle immediately after the quake unless you’re 100% sure there haven’t been any gas leaks. Lighting up a match could easily ignite a fire, so be very careful. If you smell gas or suspect there’s been a leak, locate the main gas valve and shut it off.
If you suspect a leak, open the windows and evacuate your house immediately. You should also call the gas company once you’re far enough away. Don’t try to do anything until you’re out of the house.
Never Assume It’s Over
Lastly, remember that there will likely be aftershocks after an earthquake, so don’t let your guard down, even if your house is intact and all the members of your family are well. Be sure to check the news for information about the quake and other important updates.