A big part of being prepared in the event of an earthquake is practicing what to do when one happens. The recent ‘Great Shakeout’ of October 17th was, by all accounts, a success. Approximately 700,000 B.C. residents and more than 24 million people worldwide took place in this important drill.
According to experts, the best way to minimize injury and reduce the death toll in an earthquake is to, ‘Drop – Cover – Hold’, which translates to:
- Drop to the ground
- Take cover under something sturdy
- Hold on until the shaking stops
Although many of us will automatically want to run out of our home or building or stand in a doorway, these are the first two things on the “Do Not Do” list that all experts agree are the most dangerous actions we can take during an earthquake.
Schools, businesses and thousands of individuals participated in this year’s earthquake drill but there are still too many people across the country that simply are not prepared and don’t know what to do when an earthquake hits. These drills are held every year throughout the country and anyone and everyone should make a point of participating. You do not have to be part of a business, school or other organization to take part. In fact it is suggested that every household plan regular earthquake drills with their family and loved ones. By holding regular drills you are ensuring that the actions you take will be instant, automatic, and more importantly, the right ones.
Apart from making sure you have enough of the right emergency supplies in your home including a ‘Grab N Go’ kit, there are things that you can do to make sure your home is earthquake ready. The government of Canada has many tips to help you get your own home ready for just such an emergency.
While the likelihood of an earthquake happening in the near future will depend on where you live, the fact is that one can happen anytime and anywhere. In most cases the first warning sign of an earthquake will not be the sounding of sirens or news broadcasts but the feeling of the earth swaying or items in your home moving. This is certainly not the time to start wondering what you should to do. Make sure everyone in your home knows what ‘Drop – Cover – Hold’ means and that they know what to do once the ground stops shaking.
Being prepared for an earthquake involves:
- Having an adequate supply of appropriate foods and enough water to sustain everyone in your home for at least a week; more if possible
- Making sure your home (inside and outside) is earthquake ready
- Everyone in your home knows what to do during an earthquake
- Holding regular earthquake drills with family and loved ones
To make sure you know what to do in case of a natural disaster or other emergency, take some time to visit your town or city’s website for more detailed information.