An earthquake is an unexpected event. It can happen anywhere, and at any time. Needless to say, earthquakes can destroy buildings and disrupt our normal lives for weeks at a time. Before the ground rattles beneath your feet, you should already know the next course of action that you would need to take…
So, is your family prepared for the next big one? Being prepared for an earthquake means that you will easily protect yourself and your family in case this type of natural disaster occurs.
Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! Here is how to prepare your family for the next big earthquake:
- Step #1: Make an emergency plan
Making an emergency plan constitutes the following:
Putting together or purchasing already-made an earthquake kit will enable you to have essentials such as flashlights, a first aid kit, and all other items that come in handy during an earthquake. The right kit acts as a security blanket during a natural disaster.
Picking a safe place where you and your family will take refuge after the earthquake. This could be your home, workplace, or even a nearby school. It is important to note that you will only have a short amount of time to get to your safe place during an earthquake. Therefore, your place of choice should be easily accessible.
During an earthquake, this haven of sorts should act as the central meeting place for all family members. This means that you should map escape routes from home, work, or school that will lead everyone to the safe place during your preparation phase.
- Step #2: Practice for the earthquake
As absurd as practicing for a quake situation may sound, it is the best way to know whether all family members are ready in case an earthquake occurs. Remember to practice only with family members who are old enough to follow instructions as they also have the role of shielding the younger ones.
Remember, the more you practice, the more self-protection will be second nature. Participants should be able to hunker down beneath the furniture and cover their head and neck. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, practice frequently as preparation is key.
- Step #3: Understand earthquake basics
While an earthquake kit will keep you going during an actual earthquake, understanding the basics is what will keep you alive. Ensure that all family members understand the importance of being indoors when an earthquake occurs. When you are inside, try not to run outside so you can remain protected. However, if the family is outside then all members should get away from street lights, power lights, and anything else that may fall on them and cause an accident.
- Step #4: Quake-proof your home
You know what they safe, better safe than sorry. Therefore, your home should be earthquake safe. To ensure this, make the following modifications:
- Bolt all appliances, furniture and storage equipment so that they do not fall on anyone during an earthquake
- Anchor ceiling fans and lighting fixtures
- Store breakable items on lower shelving units so that they do not fall on anyone
- Remove objects like paintings away from the bed as they could fall on you when an earthquake occurs at night
- Install gas appliances and water valves that turn on and off quickly
Finally, it is important to hire a professional who will establish whether your home has a secure foundation. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you are safe in case the natural disaster occurs.
- Final step: Carefully go through your earthquake kit
Now, knowing that you have an earthquake kit is one thing, and being sure that it will serve the purpose is another.
As such, you should carefully go through the kit to ensure that it has the following essential items that will serve you during the calamity:
- A camp stove that will allow for cooking when there is no power
- Enough food and water (and a water purifying agent) for two weeks
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A mechanical can opener that will open food cans
- Medication and personal hygiene supplies
- Emergency blankets and extra clothing layers
Granted, going through an earthquake is challenging but by following all of these aforementioned steps, you will not only go through the earthquake successfully but ensure that your family is protected in the long run. As scary as it may be, it is essential to have a disaster preparedness plan that will mitigate the risks. This is how your family prepares for the next big earthquake!