Friday, April 22, 2011

Earthquakes : Emergency Preparedness List

The various earthquakes happenining in different parts of the world such as the  Haiti, Chilean, New Zealand, and Japan  earthquakes jolted the world news.  It only proves that the the earth is not getting any better and the structure is changing, nature has its own way of changing its core. 

Now, different local government creates their preventive measures to intensify people awareness, constant inspection of structural engineering of buildings,bridges and other infrastructures within the area.  What should we do to prepare ourselves for the big one?  Earthquake preparedness is what we can do as individuals for our families to survive on these difficult times.  Here are some various earthquake measures we can do:

Preparedness List
  • Discuss with family members about earthquake, conduct drills as possible to avoid panic if an earthquake happens.  Identify an area where to meet your family after an earthquake.
  • Check house for earthquake hazards.
  • Make sure that water heaters and gas appliance are secure since fire damage can result from broken gas line.
  • Heavy objects should be placed in a lower ground,secure bookshelves and other furniture that can easily fall.
  • Have an emergency kit which includes flashlight, small radio, extra batteries,whistle.  Place them where it can easily  be accessible to all.
  • Replace halogen and incandescent bulbs with fluorescent to minimize fire risk.
  • Have atleast enough food at home for 2-3 days
  • Be aware too of your workplace earthquake plan and exits area of the building.
  • Keep informed by tuning to media and advisory information from authorities.

During the Tremor
  • In every emergency situations, always try to maintain presence of mind and be calm.
  • Turn off electrical main switch and valves during an earthquake.
  • If inside a building, look for a large piece of strong furniture to cover yourself or stand at the center of the building such as doorways.   Never  use an elevator.
  • If on the streets or between the buildings, look for a strong structure . Beware of broken down electric wires, falling debris, loose ceiling slabs and crumbling walls. Avoid being between tall walls or structures.
  • If inside the car, stop the car and find any hard material to cover your head.

After an Earthquake
Normally, an aftershock occurs after an earthquake but on a smaller magnitude.  Depending on the scale of the earthquake, the effects has always been damaging to the community.  Other domino earthquake effects comes fire,tidal waves,tsunamis, landslides and avalanches.  Aside from property damages, the community may also suffer loss of income,lack  of basic necessities,disease, hunger and  emotional desperation.
  • Be ready of aftershocks, stay away from unstable objects or structures. Window glass or loosened objects to fall.
  • Do not attempt to move seriously injured persons unless medical assistance is around. Improper handling of serious cases can have further damage to the patient.
  • Do not eat or drink from open containers near shattered glass.
  • If power is off, check the refrigerator if there is still food you can take before it spoils.
  • Check electrical wirings before turning on the main switch.
  • Avoid seashores, go to higher grounds instead for tsunamis and tidal waves.