According to the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), more than 12,000 earthquakes take place around the world, every year.
Most of these earthquakes are minor with a magnitude of less than 2 on the Richter scale. However, major earthquakes measured as more than 7 on the scale take place once a month. A great earthquake, magnitude 8 on the scale, occurs once every year.
The thing that makes earthquakes more dangerous than any other kind of disaster is that earthquakes can occur any time. Scientists can predict hurricanes, floods, typhoons and most other types of natural calamities. We still don’t have the technology to know when an earthquake will take place.
We do however know which areas are prone to earthquakes. Settlements built near fault lines are more likely to be hit by an earthquake because of the shift of the tectonic plates. Volcanoes are the second major cause of earthquakes and cause damage to nearby areas.
If you live in an area that is susceptible to a major earthquake, then you should be prepared. Here is a list of things you can do to improve your chances of survival in an earthquake.
You should examine your house and assess what would happen to the fixtures, walls and ceiling in case of an earthquake.
Do you have ceiling fans or big cupboard that can tip over and fall? What if the ceiling collapses? You should be aware of the spots that are safe or dangerous to go to in case of an earthquake.
Keep all the fixtures and heavy furniture that could topple secured against the wall.
Mirrors, heavy portraits and lightening fixtures should be away from the bed, couches and any other place where people normally sit.
In case of an earthquake stay away from rooms that have heavy furniture or appliances.
Stay away from the kitchen. Natural gas pipes in the kitchen could break and fill the place with gas fumes. With one spark the whole place can blow up.
Important rule, do not panic.
You may think it is safe to run outside but you could run into the path of heavy debris or glass falling. Just make sure you stay away from anything that could fall on you.
Make sure that your house is free from structural defects and fits the safety standards of your local County.
You don’t want your house to be the one to fall because of an issue that was out of your control to begin with.
Get any faulty electrical wiring or leaky gas piping fixed.
These can cause a fire and pose a bigger risk than an earthquake.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your house.
You can die silently. This stuff can kill you in your sleep, but a detector could save your life in the event of a leak.
Make sure that all chemicals, bleach, pesticide, fuel and other inflammable liquids are property stored.
Try to keep them in the bottom shelf where they have the least chance of falling over and spilling everywhere.
In case of an earthquake, you may find yourself trapped for days without any help.
Try to have food and water saved up for 3 to 4 days so that you can survive the earthquake on your own.
If you have kids then you should have a family disaster plan and discuss it with everyone.
A good plan outlines what to do in case of an earthquake, where to go, or contact emergency relief services and how to survive on your own if you cannot get any help. Make sure that everyone has numbers for 911, fire department and police saved on their phones.
Set at least two places for the family to meet up in case of an earthquake.
One of these should be your home but in case you can’t make it there, set another backup place outside of your neighborhood.
You should also look into getting training for first aid and CPR.
You never know when a family memeber or friend or even some person on the street may need immediate attention. You can save someone’s life in the time it takes for the paramedics to reach you.
Keep a fire extinguisher in your home.
A fire extinguguisher is an essential not only for natural disasters, but in case of any other electrical or stove mishap that may happen on a day to day basis.
Have a disaster survival box stored in a safe place. The disaster box should include most of the things you might need. Good items to put in your box include:
|Food rations for two to three days.
|Plastic bottles for carrying water.
|A multi-tool that includes pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters and clippers.
|First aid kit, including bandages, anti-bacterial soap, water purification tablets and pain medication.
|A fire starter.
|Flashlight, with extra batteries.
|Shelter such as tents and tarps.
|A proper blade.
|Heavy duty plastic bags.
|Some extra cash.
Disaster can strike at any place and at any time. So, it is always a good idea to be prepared and know how to survive in an earthquake disaster.
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