Like any natural disaster, earthquakes are pretty darn terrifying. Defined as a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth due to breaking and shifting of subterranean rock, earthquakes occur without warning and can happen any time of year. All 50 states and five U.S. territories are at risk, though the risk is greater in some regions than others. Let’s look at a few tips regarding earthquake preparation:
Educate yourself! Understand the earthquake plan for any building you work in or otherwise occupy on a regular basis. It doesn’t hurt to learn fire evacuation plans, either.
Pick Safe Areas
Identify a room or area of your home and work building that’s safe should an earthquake occur. Recommendations include areas under pieces of furniture, which provides protection from falling objects, and interior walls away from windows. Your chosen interior wall(s) should also be away from tall furniture and bookshelves, which can easily fall on you during a ‘quake. Ouch.
Remember to practice drop, cover and hold techniques in your safe areas. If you do not have a sturdy piece of furniture to hold onto, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
Create an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit containing the usual supplies is a good way to prepare for an earthquake. The kit should include extra flashlights and water bottles, as well as non-perishable food and a list of important numbers, including family contact information.
Fortify Your Home
Take steps to fortify your home against an earthquake, including placing large and heavy objects on the floor and lower shelves, fastening shelves securely to walls, and storing breakable items in low, closed cabinets. Storing breakables in cabinets that feature latches is ideal. Also fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors to walls securely and away from beds and sitting areas.
Brace all heavy overhead fixtures, such as light fixtures, and repair any gas leaks and defective wiring, as they serve as fire hazards during a natural disaster. Flexible, breakage-resistant pipe fittings are best.
Additional fortification tips include securing your refrigerator, water heater, furnace and gas appliances via wall studs and floor bolts. Repair deep cracks in your home’s foundation and ceiling, and store weed killers and other flammable products in closed cabinets with latches. Also make certain your home is fully anchored in its foundation.
Run Earthquake Drills
Run earthquake drills with your family that include the drop, cover and hold technique. This can also include teaching family members how to shut off gas valves in your home using a wrench.
Use these tips to stay ready in the event of an earthquake! What are your best tips for earthquake preparation? Share them in the comments section!
by Kent Page McGroarty – www.survivalbased.com
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