The devastating magnitude 8 quake that left thousands dead in Nepal renewed fears over the big one, a magnitude 9 earthquake capable of destroying whole cities within seconds. Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately predict when the next major earthquake will hit and where. But it pays to educate yourself and the whole family about emergency and safety tips before, during and after a major earthquake. In today’s post, we are listing down helpful tips to prep the whole family before an earthquake strikes:
Safety Tips Before an Earthquake
Prepare an Emergency Bag
Always keep one or several emergency kits in various parts of the home. This way, when an earthquake strikes, you or a family member can simply grab the bag and move to a safer place. According to the Los Angeles safety guideline, your emergency kit should include a first aid kit, prescription medication or diapers (if applicable), breathing masks, household documents, cash and traveler checks, batteries, mobile phone chargers and work gloves. You may also add photos of pets and family members, duct tape, light sticks and snacks. Blankets, camping supplies, personal care items and clothing should be added to the emergency bags as well. Take at least 4 gallons of drinking water for every person and a week’s worth of food.
Do Your Research
Is your home near an active fault line or is your area vulnerable to an earthquake? Find answers to these questions by doing your own research. This way, you know when to act fast once tragedy strikes.
Developing a Disaster Plan
Don’t let panic and fear keep you from protecting your family. Develop a disaster plan with the whole family to minimize injury and anxiety during a quake. Find ways to communicate with each other during and after a quake and designate a place where all family members can gather after the shaking stops.
Safety Tips During an Earthquake
Find a Safe Place for Cover
You want a solid structure that can protect you from falling debris or furniture. Avoid areas of the home that can expose you to these hazards. We recommend getting under a solid wood table or desk. Protect your head, neck and arms until shaking stops.
If the shaking stops and you are indoors, do not venture outside immediately. You are safer indoors from falling debris. If you are outside, find a place for cover. Call your loved ones immediately to make sure everyone is safe.
Safety Tips After an Earthquake
Anticipate After Shocks
Aftershocks are additional earthquakes that follow a major earthquake. The intensity will vary from time to time. Aftershock quakes can last for days and even weeks after a major earthquake so be sure you and the rest of the family are in a safe place.
Checking for Leaks and Wiring
Once the shaking stops and it’s safe to survey the house, check for gas leaks. Quaking could damage the gas containers in the home. A gas leak can cause more devastation it ignites. If you suspect a gas leak, call your gas company immediately. Do not use an open flame inside the home until the gas company has repaired the damage.
It’s equally important to check if the wiring is damaged after a quake. If electronic wiring inside the home is damaged, call a professional and do not attempt to make repairs on your own.
Keep Your Shoes On
Do not remove your shoes until you are sure the house is safe. Chemical spills or broken glass can cause injuries so never walk around barefoot.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Check if your insurance policy covers earthquake damage to the home. Document the damages, take photos and videos then send them to your insurance company to start the claim process.