Can we prepare for a earthquake?
An aftershock with magnitude 7.8 occurred near Iquique, Chile after the original quake of 8.2. Suddenly we are all sitting upright again. Nobody knows where the next earthquake will occur, as it doesn’t only happen in areas that is prone to seismic action. It can happen any where and how prepared are we?
Things to do before an Earthquake
• Fasten shelves securely to walls.
• Place large objects on lower shelves.
• Fasten heavy items, pictures and mirrors to walls and away from beds and seats. Also overhead light fixtures.
• Repair electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are fire risks. Use flexible fittings that are resistant to breakage.
• Secure your water heater, refrigerator and appliances to the walls and bolting to the floor.
• Store poisonous and flammable products securely in the bottom of latched cabinets.
During an Earthquake
• DROP to the ground; take COVER under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. Otherwise cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
• Move away from windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
• Don’t use a doorway. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed .
• Don’t leave a building during the shaking. Most injuries occur when people move to a different location inside the building or leave.
• DON’T use the elevators.
• Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Stay there until the shaking stops.
• The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and along exterior walls. Many fatalities occur when people run out of buildings, by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement is seldom the cause of death or injury.
• If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as soon as possible away from trees, buildings or bridges and stay in the vehicle.
After an Earthquake
If Trapped Under Debris:
• Don’t light a match.
• Do not move about or kick up dust.
• Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
• Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Shout only as a last resort, to prevent inhalation of dust.
• Expect aftershocks which can be strong enough to do more damage to weakened structures and can occur soon or even months after the quake.
• Extinguish small fires, as it is common after earthquakes.
• Get the latest emergency information.
• Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. Stay away from the beach.
• Stay away from damaged areas. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
• Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately.
• Inspect utilities. Check for gas leaks, electrical system damage and sewage and water lines damage.