Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Survival 101: Preparing for an Earthquake - Guest Post by Lee Flynn

The earth’s crust consists of tectonic plates. When all is well, these plates fit together like a puzzle, and they gently shift. When all is not well, the shifting becomes rough as the edges of the plates scrape against each other. When this happens an earthquake occurs, sometimes causing death and destruction. Any one of the 50 states in America as well as certain countries around the world can experience an earthquake. With that in mind, you may want to use the following information to increase your chances of surviving an earthquake should one occur in your hometown.

Locate a Safe Spot

Find places in your home that will protect you from being struck by objects sent your way during an earthquake. Choose spots that you can get to quickly. On your hands and knees, get under a strong table or against a wall in your house. Use your arms and hands to protect your head and face, and firmly grip the table and don’t let go if the force of the earthquake moves it.

Make sure you are far away from any tall pieces of furniture and glass. Stay in bed if you are resting when an earthquake hits. If you are confined to a wheelchair, put on the brakes and stay in the wheelchair the whole time the earth is shaking, and cover your head. Lock all your doors, windows, and utilities right before an earthquake strikes. Stop your car if you are driving, but not near any structures, trees, or poles with wires.

Have Emergency Supplies Handy 

Make sure you have plenty of
emergency food on hand, including food for your pets. Have enough water with you too. One gallon should last one person three days. Stock up on shelf stable foods, and have a non-electric can opener for your canned foods. Be sure to have enough medication, money, plastic cutlery, paper towels, a fire extinguisher, and feminine items on hand. Put important documents in a fire-proof case. Use a waterproof case to keep matches in.

Have blankets available if the weather is frigid, writing materials, reading materials, and toys for the kids. Have some regular bleach on hand. Sixteen drops will purify one gallon of water. Also keep a flashlight and several batteries around, and a kit for first aid.

Create a Phone Number List

Put phone numbers you might need on a piece of paper. Carefully write down contact numbers that will connect you with the police station, the fire department, and the hospital. Include other important numbers on your list. If you’re not sure if a number is important, jot it down anyway so you have it if you need it.

Create an Escape Strategy

Should it become necessary for you to exit the house due to dangerous conditions caused by an earthquake, plan your move wisely. If you have your family living with you, coordinate your plan with them. If any room in your house has only one door and that door becomes blocked, you will need to climb out the window. If this turns out to be the case, have a ladder made of rope within your reach. Arrange to meet with your family at a designated spot outside the house if you need to evacuate the premises. Also, make sure every family member knows where the food, fire extinguishers, and first aid supplies are located.

Being prepared for an earthquake and knowing what to do when one strikes is imperative to living through this natural disaster. The advice above could save your life and the lives of your family if it is followed. Taking a first-aid class can also help. Having the knowledge to know what to do in such a situation can pull you through and save the lives of your loved ones. 

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