How To Make a Family Earthquake Plan
Family Earthquake Plan
There will be many things to take care of after a severe earthquake. Make plans with family, friends, and neighbors, assigning specific responsibilities to each person. Talk about the possibilities that may occur and develop plans for assisting those in greater need. Remember that it may be difficult to get around after an earthquake, so each person’s task needs to be related to where he or she may be and what they are capable of doing. It is also very important to do earthquake drills regularly.
Plan To Meet
Plan to reunite:
Make a plan on where and how to reunite family members. Choose a person outside the immediate area to contact if family members are separated. Telephone service may be down, however, long distance service may be restored sooner than local service. Remember, use the phone only for emergency purposes.
Plan for children:
Know the policies of the schools or daycare centers your children attend in the event of a damaging earthquake. Have a plan to have someone pick them up if you are unable to do so. Inquire into the shelters and emergency provisions in those areas.
Know Your Environment:
The safest place in the home:
During a large earthquake, stay away from large panes of windows, shelves with heavy objects, masonry veneer (such as the fireplace), heavy furniture, or large appliances. These items tend to fall, break or move around and can injure you or you children. The hallway is usually one of the safest places in the home. Kitchens and garages tend to be the most dangerous. Also know the safest place in each room. In a very large earthquake, it will be difficult to move from one place to another.
Exits and alternative exits:
Always know the possible ways to exit your home and work place in case of an emergency. If the main exits are blocked or unavailable, work out a plan for alternative exits. Practice with your children where these exits are and how to use them.
Location of shut-off valves:
Know the location of the water, gas and electricity and how to operate the valves. If you are unsure, contact the utility company for a demonstration.
Make Special Provisions:
Elderly, disabled or persons under medications:
These persons may have difficulty moving around after an earthquake. Plan to have someone check on them after the shock. They may need help in retrieving items from blocked passage ways or, in case of a severe quake, need assistance evacuating a building. Also, they may need special foods or medications. A good plan would include a supply for a few days to a week.
Pets and animals:
Along with being concerned with your safety, you will need to be provide special care for your pets and animals. They often become distressed and disoriented, running about and sometimes bolting in fear. Reassure them with praise and security statements. Include extra food and water in your emergency food supplies. If you need to evacuate, make a plan that will include care for your pets. Remember, emergency shelters do not allow pets.
Know Community Resources
Police and Fire:
Know the location of the nearest Police and Fire Stations. Following a damaging earthquake these persons will be quite busy and may be unable to respond with expected speed.
Shelter and medical care:
After an earthquake disaster, emergency shelters and temporary medical centers will be set up in your community. Contact your local Office of Emergency Services before the earthquake and find out the plans for you area.
Know your neighborhood. You may be able to help others or others may be able to help you. Also know where to go to help your community after a disaster. It may be days before outside emergency assistance arrives. It is important to help each other!
Modified from: California Office of Emergency Services, BAREPP