Earthquake Safety

In light of the earthquake on the east coast, I though now may be the time to post some reminders about earthquake safety.

If you are inside when the shaking starts, you should:

• Drop, cover, and hold on.  Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place.  Most people
injured in earthquakes move more than ten feet during the shaking.

• If you are elderly or have a mobility impairment, remain where you are, bracing
yourself in place.

• If you are in bed, stay there, hold on, and protect your head with a pillow. You are
less likely to be injured if you stay in bed.  Broken glass on the floor can injure you.

• Stay away from windows.  Windows can shatter with such force that you can be injured
by flying glass even if you are several feet away.

• Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.  In buildings
in the United States, you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.  If
you go outside, move quickly away from the building to prevent injury from falling debris.

• Be aware that fire alarm and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings
during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.  Check for and extinguish small fires,
and exit via the stairs.

• If you are in a coastal area, drop, cover, and hold on during an earthquake and
then move immediately to higher ground when the shaking stops.  Tsunamis (large
ocean waves) are often generated by earthquakes.

If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should:

• Find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines.

• Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops.  Injuries can occur from falling trees, streetlights, power lines, and building debris.

• If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location, stop, and stay there with your
seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.  Trees, power lines, poles, street signs,
overpasses, and other overhead items may fall during earthquakes.  Stopping in a clear
location will reduce your risk, and a hard-topped vehicle will help protect you from flying
or falling objects.  Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution.  Avoid bridges or
ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.

• If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for
falling rocks and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.  Landslides
are often triggered by earthquakes.

Don’t forget food and water.  Even if you are not into preparedness, in case of a major earthquake it may be several days to weeks before you get help from the government.  Have at least a 72 hour kit or bug out bag.

Howard

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One Response to Earthquake Safety

  1. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Earthquake zone or not a pair of shoes should always be kept by the bed. They can be quickly dumped of any broken glass or debris and will help you make it across other obstacles to safety.

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