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Earthquake Preparedness: Safety and Survival Tips

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

Destruction after an Earthquake

Earthquake preparedness is a major key factor in earthquake survival and safety. Many of us grew up with natural disaster drills in school that took place once a month or so. However, many of these drills are outdated and can actually increase the risk of fatalities during a disasterous event such as a quake. Here we will go over how to stay safe, preparation tips and what not to do. 

 

Earthquake Preparedness -What not to do to increase your chances of Earthquake Survival during an Earthquake: 

Slabs of Concrete

Even though back in the day you were taught to seek shelter in a doorway,  under a desk or table these actions can actually put you in far more danger. With the instability of most building during an earthquake a door jam is likely to sway and collapse with a building leaving you directly in harms way with no where to go.  Under a table or desk your risk of being crushed can be intensified as the chances of the desk or table being able to withstand the weight of the ceiling and other structural components of the building crashing down on top of it is a lot slimmer than once thought. 

 

During an earthquake do not seek safety and shelter in heavy cement buildings or buildings designed with heavy slabs or materials. Even if the building appears to have withstood the earth moving and shaking beneath it the chances of the buildings structure being stable after a natural disaster such as this is not good. If you know the area that you are in for the best chances of earthquake safety seek shelter in buildings constructed of bendable or pliable materials such as wood. 

 

If you are driving when an earthquake hits and are near any heavy structures such as bridges or overpasses do not stay inside of your vehicle. If you've ever seen the devastation caused by an earthquake you know that roads can cave in taking anything that is upon them with it, bridges, support columns and other structures collapse and anything caught in its path is at a greater risk. These are things to keep in mind when you consider your earthquake survival and disaster preparation plans. 

 

Earthquake Preparedness and Safety Tips: What to do to increase your chances of Earthquake Survival

Crumbling Building

As you read above try to avoid getting under structures that can collapse on top of you, this is an important step in earthquake survival and has importance no matter where you are when it strikes.  Instead opt to curl up in a fetal like position next to taller structures such as desks, beds, dressers, couches, large chairs etc. If you have ever been unlucky enough to witness the collapse of a building or other heavy structure you may have noticed that there is often a gap, free of clutter and debris next to areas that contain furniture items or other items as mentioned above. Even though these items are often crushed they are rarely crushed flat therefore creating a saftey void immediately around them between the floor and falling debris. 

 

If you find yourself inside a building with no time to get next to a desk one of the next safest bets is to get as close to the wall as possible. Do not stand. Instead sit or curl up (most recommended). By reducing the area that your body takes up you also reduce your chances of being caught fully under falling debris, caused by the earth shifting beneath you, you are also better able to protect against minor injuries by constricting your body and covering your head as comes natural to most in the fetal position. 

 

If you find yourself car bound when an earthquake hits your safest bet is to get out of your vehicle and lie down next to it or get your persons to an area that is devoid of any tall structures that can fall on top of you. If you choose to stay in your vehicle you could potentially, yet greatly, be limiting your chances to react and escape which in turn can minimize your chances of earthquake survival. 

 

Earthquake Preparedness and Survival: Getting Prepared for a Disasterous Event

Earthquake Survival Kit

Often when a major disaster strikes, such as earthquakes, the after math can be far more critical than the event itself. This is why  earthquake preparedness is of the utmost importance. Water storages and supplies can become contaminated, access to food and other nurishments can be hard or impossible to get to, exposure to the elements is almost guaranteed, family and loved ones become separated amongst many other crucial factors. For all of these reasons and more it makes absolute sense that you have the following available and planned out as a part of your earthquake survival and preparation:

 

Disaster and Survival kits - often containing batteries, flashlights, non-perishable foods, first aid kit, contact sheet (listing household family members names, known medical conditions, address, descriptions as well as non local contacts), survival blankets and a good supply of bottled water. 

 

Evacuation Route and Plans: These are critical pieces to earthquake preparedness that you should have and know before you are hit by a fierce act from mother nature. These plans should include safety routes on how to get out of the home and area. Location to make contact should you not be together or become separated during an earthquake. What to do during an earthquake to increase chances of survival and safety. Every one of these steps should have alternatives just in case something happens and Plan A become obsolete. 

 

ID Bracelets: Though no one wants to think about the importance of these - 100's of people are left not knowing what happened to family and loved ones after a disaster strikes. These reasons can be as simple as shock or minor injuries that prevent a person from knowing who they are to more dire reasons such as recovery and identification in a worse case scenario. 

 

The best earthquake preparedness steps you can take no matter where you are is to know your surroundings and to have a plan of action. It does not matter where you are or where you live. Natural disasters though more common in some areas can strike just about anywhere - especially earthquakes. 


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Comments

Aug 26, 2011 5:43am
delo1
The terrible images being shown on television as Tokyo suffered from the earthquake and its aftermath were frightening. I worried about a colleague and about your friends as their country faced difficult times ahead. I was relieved to know that she was OK. In part she replied:
Social media Twitter was useful to share the place to find the safe place or the Facilities open for the people who need to rest.
We are still facing the hard time but we will try our best and supporting each other using ICT. But many of my friends in Sendai or Tohoku Area still missing.
Another Safety and survival tip: Social Networking!
Aug 26, 2011 2:26pm
MomWhoWrites
Great addition delo1. Thank you. I was not aware of how Twitter helped those caught up in the aftermath. It is good to see those social outlets used for purposes that really help people.
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