Earthquakes are inevitable; being prepared before one happens is smart. There are many regions across the globe that have all the perfect ingredients for a major earthquake. There is nothing we can do about that but we can significantly increase the chances that we, along with our loved ones will be safe both during and after such an event. There are a few key areas that we need to think about when preparing for an earthquake such as:
- Steps to help prevent or minimize personal injury
- Make sure your home is ‘earthquake ready’
- Be prepared to survive until help arrives
Recognizing the early signs of an earthquake is an important factor in minimizing personal injury. Every home has certain places that are safer than others. Take the time to do a ‘walk-through’ and make sure everyone in your home knows where the danger and the safe zones are. Some of the safest places include:
- In a hallway
- The corners in a room
- Underneath heavy furniture such as tables or desks
To help avoid injury, stay clear of windows or mirrors than can shatter, cupboards (especially in the kitchen) where objects can fall out, doorways, since they can slam shut on you, and near any objects that can fall on you. The kitchen can be an especially dangerous area with fridge doors opening and where sharp utensils can be thrown about. For a more comprehensive list, it is recommended that you visit your local city website where they also provide handy check lists and tips on making sure your home is ‘earthquake ready’.
While most towns and cities have well established emergency preparedness plans, the reality is that these aid agencies may not be able to reach you right away. In fact it can take several days and even when they do arrive; it is unlikely that you will have water, electricity or adequate food for a much longer period of time. Preparing for any natural disaster needs to include adequate provisions of food and water to last for at least a week and longer if possible.
The items that will be needed after an earthquake (or other natural disaster) include an emergency kit, food and water, as well as some type of shelter in the event that your home is not safe to stay in. Keep in mind that it may not be convenient or even possible to start combing through your supplies for canned goods and jugs of water, not to mention things like can openers and such. For emergencies such as earthquakes or other disasters where you must leave your home quickly, a handy grab-n-go kit is ideal.
It may seem overwhelming, not to mention expensive, to get all the things together that you need to keep your family safe. Just remember that you can start small and get a basic first-aid kit and even a grab-n-go container of food to get you started and then simply build your supply over time. People’s stress levels during and after an emergency will be at an all time high so anything you can do in advance that helps keep you and your loved ones safe is certainly a step in the right direction.