Earthquake is an unexpected and rapid shaking of Earth mainly due to the breakage and shifting of underneath layers. Earthquake strikes all of a sudden at any time of day or night and quite violently. It does not give you any warning. In case of a populated area, the earthquake can cause a huge loss in the amount of human life and property damage.
Effects of earthquake
The earthquake can make the buildings and bridges to fall, disrupt electricity, gas, and phone service. It can even further cause landslides, flash floods, avalanches, fires, and destructive ocean waves, also known as tsunamis. The buildings with unstable foundations, old watercourses, and other unsound structures are greatly at risk.
What to do to face earthquake
Although there is no guarantee of safety at the time of an earthquake, one can identify the potential risk before time. Planning beforehand can not only save your life but also of the people around you. If you face earthquake wisely and know what to do before, during and after an earthquake, you can significantly reduce injuries and damage of property.
Before the Earthquake
- Look for hazards in your home
- Tie the shelves firmly to the walls.
- Support the overhead light fittings.
- Repair the faulty electrical wiring and leaky gas links.
- Refurbish the deep cracks in ceilings or floor.
- Make a family emergency plan and educate yourself and your family members about the disaster by contacting the local emergency management authorities.
- Have disaster supplies at hand, such as, flashlight, batteries, portable radio, First aid kit, emergency food, water, non-electric can opener, medicines, cash, credit cards, shoes etc.
- Develop your emergency communication plan and practice it with your family.
- Make your out-of-state friend or relative your “family contact” in case of emergency.
- Work in your community to inform others with the knowledge you have and make hazard hunt programs and neighborhood emergency plans.
During the Earthquake
- Stay safe and minimize your movements and stay indoors till the shaking stops. The safe places can be under strong furniture, against inside wall, away from shelves and heavy furniture.
- When outdoors, stay in an open area, away from trees, buildings, telephone poles, electric lines, bridges, street lights or elevated freeways.
- If in a car, stop at a safe place. Do not stop near or under trees, buildings, bridges and service wires. Stay in the vehicle.
- If caught under debris, do not move, light match or kick up dust. Use a cloth to cover your mouth. Make sound so that the rescuers can locate you. Avoid shouting as it may cause you inhale dangerous dust.
After the Earthquake
- Be prepared for aftershocks.
- Listen to latest emergency information on the battery-operated radio or TV.
- Stay off from risky areas. Come back home when authorities tell you to.
- If in coastal areas, beware of possible tsunamis. If there is any such warning, stay away from the beach.
- Help the injured people especially the infants, elderly and disabled people. Give first aid when required.
- Do not move off seriously wounded people and call for help.
- Check for gas leaks, electric system damage, sewage, and water lines damage and call for professional help.