Preparation is vital especially when facing natural disasters. Although we cannot predict when earthquakes will happen, earthquake preparedness can go a long way in helping you cope during and after inevitable earthquakes. Moreover, it is vital to remember that in times of calamities and disasters, cops, firefighter sand even paramedics, might not arrive when you need them so you must be responsible for the survival and safety of yourself and your family. Let’s explore some of the steps you can take to create the ideal earthquake preparedness plan to give you the best chances of survival.
Make an earthquake preparedness kit
The kit includes:
- Water: Store at least a 3-day supply of clean, treated water per person in plastic containers and avoid containers that will break or decompose such as glass and milk bottles.
- Food: Include ready-to-eat fruits, canned meats, vegetables, canned juice, salt, and sugar. You should also include some high energy food such as granola bars, peanut butter and crackers.
- First aid kit: Include sterile adhesive bandages, latex gloves, sunscreen, cleaning agent, pain relievers, scissors, antiseptic, needle, antacid anti-diarrhea medicines and thermometer.
- Tools and supplies: Paper cups, plastic utensils, plates, battery operated radio, extra batteries, flashlight, tape, pliers, aluminum foil, cash, pencils, paper, signal flare and plastic storage containers.
- Sanitation: toilet paper, disinfectant, soap, feminine supplies, poop bags and household chlorine bleach.
- Clothing and bedding: Your earthquake preparedness kit should include rain gear, warm clothing, work boots or sturdy shoes, sunglasses and sleeping bags or blankets.
Plan how to be safe during an earthquake
- Pick some safe places in each room: Some of the potential safe places include against an interior wall or under a sturdy table away from glass windows, tall furniture or book cases that might fall on you. You can reduce risk of injury by simply reducing the distance to safety.
- Practicing “Drop, Cover and hold-on” is a great way of reinforcing the behavior to make these actions a quick and automatic response. Therefore, you will not hesitate as you try to remember exactly what you are supposed to do. You should also learn about the earthquake preparedness plan your child’s school has adopted.
- Consult your insurance agent: Since different states have different requirements when it comes to earthquake protection, it is vital to study areas of active faults. In case you are at risk, talk with your insurance agent and purchase earthquake insurance.
- Inform caregivers, babysitters and guests about your earthquake preparedness plan. Ensure that everyone in your home knows what to do in case an earthquake occurs. This assures you that everyone will respond accordingly even when an earthquake occurs while you are away from home. Moreover, discussing earthquakes with your family ahead of time helps reduce anxiety and fear because everyone knows how to respond.
- Get training: You can take first aid classes from your local St. Johns Ambulance or Red Cross Chapter. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher from the fire department and remember to update your skills. With proper training, you will always remain calm during natural disasters.
How can you protect your property during an earthquake?
Your earthquake preparedness plan should also include a checklist on how to protect your property:
- Bolt tall furniture such as cabinets and book cases to walls. Anchor or brace top-heavy items because such objects can fall over causing injury or damage.
- Install strong bolts or latches on cabinets in order to prevent them from flying open and the contents from falling out during an earthquake. On the other hand, it is vital to move heavy or large and fragile items to lower shelves to reduce chance of injury and damage.
- Store pesticides, weed killers and flammable products in closed cabinets with latches to avoid creating hazardous situations from confined locations.
- Bolt down gas appliances to avoid creating fire hazards from broken gas lines. You can also install flexible pipe fittings in order to avoid gas leaks.
- Repairing deep cracks in foundations and ceilings is also an essential element of earthquake preparedness. Get expert help if there are any signs of structural defects because earthquakes can make smaller problems bigger by turning minor cracks into raptures.
Plan how to communicate with your family and recover after the earthquake. Choose a safe place outside your home to meet with your housemates and family after the shaking. On the other hand, you should provide all your housemates and family members with important contact phone numbers. During earthquake preparedness, it is essential to keep copies of all essential documents such as financial records, insurance policies, identification documents in a secure, waterproof container.