When the ground starts shaking, signaling an earthquake, it pays to be in the know on what steps to take. Public service agencies and established companies may keep harping on an earthquake readiness plan and what to do when a tremor occurs, but one can never be ready for the worst.
Identifying hazards early on may count for something. Note that there are agencies that help mitigate disasters and save lives, and you will not go wrong by going over some of the emergency preparedness guides offered by such organizations online or in print.
What You Can Do Before An Earthquake
Some home or company owners may opt to ensure that their dwelling and working structures are sturdier. Enlisting the services of professionals can handle that aspect. Considering insurance may also be to your advantage.
Other preparatory measures for a natural disaster include having sufficient stocks of and survival kits, particularly after an earthquake has been predicted to take place. Be sure to have a supply of canned goods, and around three gallons of water.
If available, stock up on gas masks as well as flashlights, medications, plus a few other items like a laser pointer. In the 2015 film San Andreas, a laser pointer was the saving tool that signaled the parents of trapped youngsters where they were. Anticipate that you would need such items, especially when you do not know exactly when the catastrophe may occur, nor how heavy the seismic activity may be in the spot where you may be.
Steps to Take During An Earthquake
If you happen to be outdoors, remember to stay in a clear spot – away from trees and power lines. Avoid buildings from which debris might fall.
If indoors, find a particular spot in the house, or building, where nothing is likely to fall on you. Think of parts of the house that might give way – such as a loose door which would likely cause injury.
In a high-rise building, expect fire sprinklers to go on and wait for fire alarms to sound. Stairwells may not be safe, so avoid making a dash for exits.
When driving a car, stay in the car until the shaking ceases. Do not accelerate; instead, slow down until you could safely stop where you will not likely cause a vehicular accident.
If the earthquake starts when you are in bed – stay there. Put a pillow over your head, stay calm and wait until the tremors pass. The general rule when a tremor begins is to drop down to the floor, take cover and hold onto a sturdy piece of furniture.
Staying Alert After the Earthquake
Even after an earthquake seems over, people need to stay prepared. Be wary of aftershocks. Then again, even a lack of large aftershock in is not a reason to be complacent about what may possibly occur next, experts say.
Larger quakes have small aftershocks with individual tremors that need to be filtered out. The aftermath of an earthquake is different from a storm that has dissipated. When an earthquake with a high level of disruption, like one with a magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurs, the follow-on activity is likely to be of significance.
Stay in a “safe” location for several minutes after the quake. When the time has lapsed, assess the situation; evacuating from a damaged area may be necessary. When stumbling into seriously injured people, moving them may not be a good idea, unless doing so may prevent greater harm.
Steer clear of areas with broken glass, and do not touch downed power lines or objects touching downed wires. Cooperating with public safety officials is advisable. At the same time, it is crucial not to get in the way of disaster operations.