While one of the most important things to consider — before, during and after an emergency — is food and water and how you will ration it out best to survive as long as possible without outside help, another incredibly important survival factor to consider is communication.
While trying to stay calm and help others, if you’re able, it’s best to find a source of outside communication as soon as you can. If you have access to a radio or a television, try to listen to it carefully to receive instructions from authorities. This way, a community — though thrown into disarray — can still pull together to be as unified as possible.
Treat your cell phones and your home phones as precious, saving the battery life as much as you can. Choose to use social media or texting to communicate and only make phone calls in the case of an emergency. Finding a place to charge your cell phone used to be a challenge, but now there are many affordable devices out there to give you a portable charge. Most flashlights and radios designed for emergency or outdoor use also have the technology to charge your phone.
Before you venture anywhere, or try to assess the structural integrity of your home or turn off your gas valve, consider your clothing and, if you are able, change into your sturdiest shoes and clothing to protect you from debris and broken, sharp objects and edges.
Try to remember what you have previously discussed with family and friends regarding your plan in the case of an emergency. Now is when it all comes into play. If you can find out the whereabouts of your loved ones, your will to survive and stay healthy could become stronger. However, if you need to leave your house, be sure to take your emergency kit — such as on of our Earthquake Kits — and other essential items with you.
Once you’ve checked on the members of your household, you might want to consider checking on your neighbours. If you can rally together, and form a sense of community within your larger community, you will most likely find yourself heartened and ready to fight the good fight of survival. More than ever, the adage “two [or more] heads are better than one” seems to apply.
To read more about how to get through the first couple weeks after an earthquake in your city, read these tips on our Canadian government’s emergency preparedness website, or have a look at some of our other blog posts about earthquakes and survival: