The frequency of natural disasters in the world today is rather high. Some say that it is a way for Mother Nature to show its wrath on people because they fail to care for the environment. For others it is a matter of consequence for past actions where they had a complete disregard for the balance of nature. From droughts to flash floods, landslides, sinkholes, hurricanes, and earthquakes these are calamities that one has to prepare for. Earthquakes are among the most common occurrences that one should get ready for. That is why it is best that you have to learn some earthquake survival tips.
14 Earthquake Survival Tips That Could Save Your Life
Most, if not all, of the disasters mentioned pose a serious threat to life. Plus, they always come unannounced, if you know what I mean. Oftentimes, after a major catastrophe the number of deaths is shocking. In order to increase the probability of not being part of that statistic, it is best that you prepare for the worst. The following are earthquake survival tips that could save your life…tips that you can perform before during and after a major earthquake.
BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE
Tip #1: Educate and Learn
Learn all that you can about earthquakes and how to be safe. If you have a family, you can teach them on what they need to do in the event of an earthquake. Practicing and creating simulations in your home, at school or at work will get them ready for what is to come. Examples like steering clear of hanging objects and large mirrors. By doing this regularly they will eventually learn it by heart.
Tip #2: Have a Bug Out Bag Ready at All Times
For some, they call this a specialized emergency kit. It is a bag that is within reach at place in your home, work or school where you spend the most time. If an earthquake occurs you can easily grab it and find a safe place. The BOB contains food and water for each family member for 3 days at the least. A first aid kit, toilet paper, a paracord, garbage bags, plastic ties, a hand-crank or battery powered radio, extra batteries, a fire-starter kit, a cell phone, blankets, flashlights, a whistle and extra clothes are just some of the few things that you need.
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Tip #3 Rearrange Your Stuff and Your Furniture
Large and heavy objects should be closer to the ground. Mirrors should be secured to the wall and heavy picture frames should not be placed right where you frequently stay or where you sleep. Unless you want to be knocked unconscious by falling objects or be cut into pieces by flying shards of glass. Strategically moving your furniture will make it safer for you and the people around you. Secure electronics with flexible nylon straps and anchor tall book cases and filing cabinets with wall studs.
Tip #4: Repair and Maintenance
Check for gas lines and electrical wiring that needs repairs on a regular basis. These are often overlooked and can cause fires and explosions during an earthquake. Having electronic detectors could help a lot. However, don’t try doing it yourself. Seeking professional help is always advised.
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Tip #5: Agree on a Bug Out Location
Considering that the communication is down, agree on a place where your family and friends can meet after an earthquake. Even if communications are up it is best to comfort and reassure each other. Also if one member is not able to make it you would narrow down as to who you should be checking out on to know if they’re safe or not.
DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
Tip #6: Keep Calm
All the preparation will be for nothing if you are mentally unprepared. An earthquake happens very suddenly and panicking can be your greatest enemy. That is why you should keep calm and focus on what you need to do.
Tips #7: Avoid The Standard Duck, Cover & Hold Procedure
This may sound absurd but search and rescue statistics show that those that go under objects like a table, a car, door jamb or other supposed “lifesavers” end up getting crushed. For the door jamb for example, if it falls sideways, you’ll most likely be cut in two. If it falls forward or backward the ceiling will crush you. Instead do the curl up fetal position next to a sofa or a table rather than under it. If you can find something to protect your head with from falling objects then do so.
Tip #8: The Triangle of Life
This was named so because during search and rescue there was almost always a void in the form of a triangle beside a certain object like a slightly squashed sofa, a bed, a table, or a vehicle. Staying beside these objects instead of right underneath them will give you greater chances of crawling out with your life. If you’re in bed, just roll off it and curl up at the bottom end of the bed.
Tip #9: Go To An Open Area
Staying outside rather than inside gives you a better chance of not being blocked from an escape route. Stay away from trees, telephone poles, and electric lines. If there is an open area that is free of these obstacles then get there as fast as you can. This is reasonably the safest place to be during an earthquake.
Tip #10: Avoid Using The Stairs
Whether or not the building stays erect you should still avoid the stairs. It is the area where it can be flooded with panicky people. The stairs swing differently compared to the main part of the building. It is the part of the building that received more damage than anything else. The building and the stairs collide into each other until the stair structure collapses. If you’re on the stairs before its structure collapses you’ll surely be chopped into bits and pieces.
Tip #11: If You’re Driving
There are options to this tip depending on the circumstances. If you are in an open area, stop immediately off the shoulder of the road. But if you are underneath a bridge or an overpass, keep going until you reach a safer spot. If this is not possible, stop and get out of the vehicle then curl up beside it. This is where the triangle of life applies. The earthquake that occurred in San Francisco shows that those who stayed in their vehicles in the decks of the Nimitz Freeway were crushed to death. Cars that were compressed by the weight of the collapsed road above them had a 3 feet high void beside them. Those directly crushed by the columns were an exception.
After The Quake
Tip #12: Check If Everybody is Okay
Immediately apply first aid treatment to broken bones, cuts, or other injuries to any injured family members or officemates. Then call 911.
Tip #13: Check for Damages and Watch Out for Aftershocks
If an aftershock occurs repeat whole process of keeping yourself safe. When all is stable again check for any electrical sparks or leaking gas. These can cause fires which can lead to serious injuries and oftentimes can be fatal.
Tip #14: Meet Family and Friends at the Rendezvous Area
This is but an application of Tip #5. If you’re located near the ocean put in mind that it should be at a higher elevation in case of a tsunami. Immediately drive to the location of those who are not present at the rendezvous point.
Watch this cctv footage on the earthquake in Nepal posted by everybodysaysiamfine.
These earthquake survival tips do not guarantee 100% that it could save your life But it will definitely increase the chances of survival for you and your family in the event of an earthquake. So it is best that you prepare for the worst but always hope for the best.
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You might have a contact person well outside the disaster zone that your friends and family know about. Let them know about your status and leave it to them to stay in touch with everyone else. You’ll have enough to do.
If you’ve not got the inclination to get a ham radio license, inexpensive FRS radios are a good way to stay in touch in a neighborhood.
Know your neighbors and who is likely to experience the most difficulty in a disaster, especially older people and those with health issues. Check up on them as soon as you can.
Know where the closest community shelters are in your community. If you home is damaged, you may need to go there. If you’re fine, you might go and see if they need help. Once you solve your problems, help others.
As you plan, be aware that disasters can stack on top of one another. When I lived in Seattle, I told people that the worst possible disaster for the city would be a blizzard that knocked out power and made getting about difficult followed by a quake that’d destroyed buildings and left thousands in need of hospitalization.
Plan around your jobs as they will be shaped by an emergency. If the mother is a hospital RN, she may be needed at work. If so, the father, who might be an accountant, needs to know how to handle the kids. In my case, when I worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital and lived a short walk away, I assumed that, if a bad quake hit, I’d work as many hours at was needed. That’d free those with kids to stay home. Never forget than in a disaster some work is more needed than ever otherwise. Hospitals, police and fire fighers will be very busy.