Before an earthquake make sure you know a few safety things. Do you know where and how to shut off the gas or utilities? Have you went through your house and fastened down anything that could fall? For instance heavy pictures, book shelves, ceiling fans , mirrors, your television and cabinet. Even all the little knick knacks you have are they secured so they don’t become flying death traps. There is a ton of things to do before an earthquake, take the time and acquaint yourself with your home and its contents.
What do you do during an earthquake?
Stay put where you are if at all possible until the shaking stops. If you are in a spot where something could fall on you try to get as low as possible on the floor next to some low furniture. Standing in a doorway is not a good idea either, you could get hit by flying or falling objects. Stay as low to the ground as possible, a table might be a good spot to be. Drop down to the ground on your own before the earthquake knocks you down. Stay away from the windows, glass or outside doors and anything that could fall on you. If you are in bed stay put if possible. Hazards are hard to see sometimes. If you happen to be outside when an earthquake strikes get out in the open. Stay away from buildings, utility lines and anything that could harm you if it fell. If you are in a car stay off the roads if you can, bridges and roads may have been damaged in the earthquake. Try to move your car into an open area and stay put.
What do you do after an earthquake?
If you find yourself trapped under rubble try not to move around too much, you could kick up dust making it hard to breathe or you could dislodge something that could harm you. If you have a cell phone check and see if it works. If it does call for help. Find a rock or piece of rubble to bang on a pipe or wall with so the rescue people can find and help you.
If you are not trapped when the shaking stops carefully look around. If you have an easy path to get to safety leave the building and go to an open area. Be prepared to drop down on your hands and knees in case there is after shocks afterwards. Watch for downed power lines or trees that could have been damaged that could fall.
Contact your loved ones and make sure they are ok. You should have a plan in case of emergencies to contact each other. Sometimes you might have to call someone out of state because the phone lines locally don’t work. If that is the case make sure everyone knows who to call and what your plan is.
Written By Barbara Conover