Listen, earthquakes can happen anywhere!
Anywhere you go, an earthquake can strike. There was an earthquake Tuesday morning on the east coast and people were freaking out… which I can understand since the locals probably have never felt an earthquake before… What? The ground shakes? Plate tectonics?
There was an earthquake at my house last night too, which lies directly on the Hayward Fault- all the way on the other side of the United States. It was a little 3.6 and for the most part we went, “weee!!! rollercoaster!!!” Not national news.
So this article is to help you get as ready as you can be in case of natural disaster. Whether you are an unexperienced earthquake noob or an overconfident Californianlike earthquake-savvy geek, the only thing that matters is to BE PREPARED.
Here is what my family does, and it may be a good idea to come up with a plan for you and your loved ones as well!
1) Prepare an emergency bag: This should be either on or near you at all times. Have a couple of emergency bags ready to go in your house, car, and workplace.
- Self-Powered/ Solar-Powered Radio Flashlight
- Socks, Shoes, Hat, Gloves
- First Aid Kit
- Glow Sticks
- Backup of Medications You Need
- Cash and Credit Cards
- Water and Canned Food
- A map of different ways to get home because roads will close
- They also have self-powered flashlights now that can charge cell phones, but know that a huge earthquake can take down phone towers, cut the lines. Cell phones may be useless!
- Have a set of EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS of people outside your city AND outside your state so that you have a place to call out to or go to in times of desparate needs. I hardly see this on an emergency survival list, but it is so important. The reason you need to have an out of state contact is because it will be easier for you to reach them because all the phone lines may be down in your area. Have the Name, Address, Phone- all that shabang.
2) Prepare emergency supplies: Have these ready in your home and in one location so that you know where you can go to get it.
- 20 Days worth of water and food PER PERSON. Bottled Water and Canned Food that doesn’t expire for a long time will be best- anyone like SPAM?
- Manual Can Opener
- Battery-operated radio and flashlight- extra extra batteries
- Self-powered/ solar-powered radio and flashlight (get one that can charge cell phones)
- Large First Aid Kit and Manual
- Infection Control Kit
- 2 Months worth of Medication
- Socks, Shoes, Hat, Gloves for each person
- Cash and Credit Cards
- Battery-operated Walkie-Talkie
- A phone that can connect to a landline
- Again, your EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST. (Also, make sure these people know that you put them on your list.)
- I’d also recommend matches, but really be careful with anything flammable. Don’t cause a fire on top of an earthquake destruction please!
3) Find A Safe Place To Go
- Inside the house, there should be sturdy desks, beds, furniture, or between doorways and insides of walls. Stay away from mirrors and windows!!! What are the three words drilled into our minds in elementary school (in California, that is)? “DROP, COVER, AND HOLD.”
- Get under sturdy furniture, cover your neck, and hold on to the furniture because it may move.
- If you’re in bed, stay there, hang on tight, and protect your head/neck with your pillow. If you have anything dangerous that can fall on you (for example: heavy light hanging above), go to the next safest hiding place.
- Stay inside until it stops and only exit when you know it is safe.
- Have socks/shoes near your bed because things may fall and shatter. Don’t want to hurt your feet while your trying to get outside!
- Outside the house, have a meeting/gathering place for your family. Make sure it is away from buildings, poles, or anything that can fall over! Do not go outside until you know that it is safe to exit.
- Your Car: If you are driving around during an earthquake, try to drive away from buildings, towers, wires, poles, etc. You basically want to drive into a deserted parking lot. Exit your car when it is safe and after the quake.
4) Make Sure Everyone Is On the Same Page
- If you have a beautiful family with children, make sure your children know the meeting place and the plan in case of an emergency. Make sure that your kids know where he or she can hide and where to go to find you, or who to call if you are separated.
- LISTEN. IF PLAN A DOES NOT WORK, YOU BETTER HAVE A PLAN B, PLAN C, PLAN D, AND PLAN E. Safety first!
5) What about your pets?
- Pet’s are supposed to naturally hide when they are scared and get defensive. It may not be the best idea to hang onto your pet during the earthquake. They may get aggressive even if they are normally calm.
- Tie their pens or cages down!
- Don’t count on animal shelters for post-quake help. For health and safety reasons, your pet will need a back-up plan in case shelters are full. Prepare just as much food and water for your dog, cat, bird, bunny, rat, snake, blah… as you would for yourself! Also prepare an emergency collar, leash, and/or pen.
6) DO THIS NOW: Lock Down, Strap Down, Glue Down
- Fix all flammable (like gas tanks, heaters, water heaters) to the walls. Strap it down with studs, nail timber blocks down to strengthen the bottom. Preventing a fire is vital because that is the last thing that you need after an earthquake.
- Have a plumber put flexible fittings on your gas pipes. Do not let your handy hubby do this even though he may think that he can fix everything around the house.
- Make sure all your shelves are double fastened onto the walls. Wall studs, brackets, fixtures…
- There is a product that we use called QUAKE HOLD. Get it from Home Depot, Lowes, Omygosh OSH! Hold the fort down!
7) After the Quake Tips
- Expect Aftershocks!!!
- Watch out when you are opening doors or cabinets.
- If you are trapped under debris, do not scream. Tap on pipes or walls, whistle, but keep your mouth as closed as you can unless its absolutely necessary because too much dust and debris going into your mouth isn’t safe!
We can’t predict when a natural disaster will come so the best thing we can do is be as prepared as possible. Mayhem and panic may happen and none of us are truly mentally prepared. Taking precautions is always a good idea!
What else do you do to prepare for an earthquake?