Earthquakes can occur at any time of the day, any day of the year. There are more than a thousand earthquakes each year. Most people are caught off guard when an earthquake occurs because it is completely unexpected and most people are unprepared for such natural disasters. This article aims to help prepare individuals before, during and after an earthquake. Although survival is not assured by being prepared for natural disasters, it can greatly increase a person’s chances of surviving these scenarios.
Since one cannot tell when an earthquake can occur, it is greatly recommended to have an action plan for earthquakes prepared at all times. Before an earthquake, the following tips are greatly recommended to help ensure maximum preparedness before an earthquake can occur:
- Discuss the potential dangers of an earthquake to the house, school, workplace and the rest of the community.
- Enroll the family in a First Aid Training Course so everyone can be prepared of possible scenarios. Teach them how to turn off gas, electricity, water at the main fuse or valve.
- Prepare emergency supplies, such as food and water for at least 3 days. Prepare a first aid kit for all kinds of emergencies.
- Survey the house for potential sources of danger.
It may be very difficult to remain calm, especially when disaster strikes, but the most important thing to do during earthquakes is to remain calm and not to panic. Presence of mind is always essential in these scenarios. During an earthquake:
- If inside a house or high-rise buildings, drop, cover and hold. Get under a table or heavy furniture. Do not stay beside windows or objects that could fall. Alternatively, one can opt to stand in a corner or archway.
- If outdoors, stay away from trees, electric power lines and buildings that can fall. However, when inside a car, stop at the side of the road but do not stay beside the previously mentioned structures and stay inside the car.
- If possible, listen to radio broadcasts for additional precautions.
Many people will be shaken after earthquakes occur but as previously mentioned, stay calm after the earthquake has occurred. The following is recommended after an earthquake:
- Check for injuries and administer first aid when necessary. Avoid moving injured individuals unless necessary.
- Check for fires, gas and water leaks. If leaks are smelled, do not turn on any electrical appliances and shut off the main valve, otherwise do not turn off. Do not use matches and candles.
- Turn on portable or car radio to wait for emergency news or instructions.
- Do not enter damaged infrastructures unless they are completely safe.
- Do not use vehicles unless it is completely safe to do so.
- Expect aftershocks to occur.
It is generally recommended to take First Aid Courses to help be prepared for natural disasters such as earthquakes.