How to Survive an Earthquake

 Survive an Earthquake

Before An Earthquake

Long before an earthquake hits, make a plan for your family as to where everyone should go and where to meet afterwards. Decorate your home appropriately by not hanging heavy mirrors or pictures over sleeping areas in bedrooms or behind couches, in case they are shaken off the wall. Stock up on earthquake emergency food supplies, including extra batteries, battery operated radios, flashlights, blankets, extra water and canned food and medical supplies. It is a good idea to stock tools to turn off gas and water valves as well as the electricity.

During An Earthquake

When an earthquake hits, if possible, stay indoors and stay there until the shaking stops. Head to a safe place within your home; for example, under a heavy desk, strong table or alongside an interior wall. Stay away from appliances, windows, heavy objects that might fall on you, furniture and fireplaces. If you were cooking, turn off the stove and move to your safe place. If you are caught outside when an earthquake hits, move to as open an area as possible away from buildings, power lines and trees. If you are in your car, stop the car on the side of the road and stay in your vehicle. Always stay away from power lines, trees, bridges, overpasses and large signs.

After the Earthquake

Once the shaking has stopped, check everyone for injuries and tend to those injured if needed. After you have assessed everyone’s safety and well-being, check your location for damage; if you find the building is badly damaged, you need to leave immediately until it inspected by a professional. At this time, turn off your gas, electric and water valves, if it is safe to do so and if you smell gas, leave the building at once. If your power has gone out, unplug all electrical appliances to avoid a power surge when the power comes back on. If emergency service personnel advise you to evacuate your home, then do so; head to a nearby shelter or family or friend’s home where you will be safe, until you are advised to return home.