Unlike hurricanes and tsunamis, earthquakes unfortunately do not come with a warning. Earthquakes can strike instantly and they are happening all over the world every day. Earthquakes are sudden events that are able to cause enormous environmental and structural damage in just a matter of minutes. Take for example the San Francisco quake which happened in 1989, that quake which lasted for only ten seconds but caused ten billion dollars worth of damage due to its location. The best way that you and your family can prepare for an earthquake is to have an earthquake preparedness kit with vital supplies as well as making your house as earthquake safe as possible.
It is recommended you have stored at least 72 hours or 3 days worth of supplies in case of earthquakes or any other disaster. The easiest way is to buy an emergency earthquake kit or you can prepare your a kit yourself.
Items That You Need In Your Emergency Survival Kit
– A first aid kit, including backup medication you may be currently taking
– Detailed instructions on how to turn off your vital utilities including electricity and gas
– Blankets, sundries, food and clean water to last at least 3 days
How Prepare Your Home For An Earthquake
– Eliminate immediate hazards by moving all heavy items to lower shelves and securing all heavy furniture as much as possible. Secure all hanging items such as: paintings and mirrors, avoid hanging items over beds.
– If you have a water heater, insure it is secured to the wall studs. Water heaters can weigh a few hundred pounds and in case of an earthquake, it could fall, possibly breaking gas lines etc.
– Make sure your house is firmly bolted securely to its foundation. If your home was built before say… 1950, houses back then were not required to be bolted to the foundation. Have a licensed contractor check.
– If you have a chimney, make sure it is securely braced. During an earthquake, it can possibly topple over and fall through the ceiling.
– Know exactly where your water, electricity and gas sources are.
What To Do During An Earthquake
– Try staying inside your house and away from falling objects and glass. Drop down on you knees and cover your head from falling debris.
– If you happen to be outside, stay clear from power lines, windows, and large buildings. Move to a clear area where there is no falling debris.
What To Do After an Earthquake
– Check for any injuries on yourself as well as others and perform necessary first aid from your kit.
– As the emergency services and phone lines will be overloaded, use the phone only to report life threatening emergencies.
– Shut off your utilities (gas/electricity/water) to prevent any further damage to your home.
– Look for and put out any small fires with your fire extinguisher. If you smell gas or hear it leaking, immediately evacuate your home.
Prepare For Possible Aftershocks
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