Monday, May 11, 2015

Prepare Now For An Earthquake…Don’t Wait For Another 7.9

Before the earthquake
Seismic experts have been saying that we can expect a major destructive earthquake in Nepal. We don’t know when this will happen. But we do live in a region where some of the largest earthquakes in the world occur. On April 25th, 2015 it striked with a vengeance and with death toll still rising above 8000, it is about time we start to prepare for another one in the future.
When an earthquake occurs, your first warning may be a swaying sensation if you’re in a building, a sudden noise or roar. Next, vibration, quickly followed by rolling up, down, sideways, rotating. It will be scary! It may last a few seconds or go on for a few minutes. The earth won’t open up and swallow you. But you could be hurt by breaking glass, falling objects, and heavy things bouncing around. Be prepared for aftershocks.
You can’t prevent an earthquake. But you can:

  • be prepared to avoid injury
  • be prepared to minimize damage to your home
  • be prepared to survive afterwards for at least 72 hours without help.
  • Know the safe and dangerous places in your home.
  • Sign up now for a first-aid course, including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Make an appointment now with your insurance broker to talk about your earthquake insurance. Check your coverage… it will affect your loss and financial ability to recover after an earthquake.
  • Plan and practice evacuation.
  • Talk to your children about what to do if they’re at home, at school, if the quake separates your family. Become familiar with the school’s earthquake plan.
  • Arrange an out-of-the-area contact. Each family member should carry the contact phone number and address. Have an alternative family rendezvous if you can’t get home.
  • Remind your family to rely on emergency authorities for guidance. Broadcast reports on radio and television will have instructions.
  • Also remind your family members that emergency phone numbers are in the inside cover of the telephone book. But use them only in an extreme emergency. Your telephone may not work after an earthquake, or it may take a while to get a dial tone.
  • Make sure each family member knows how to shut off the utilities gas, electricity and water. (Don’t shut off the gas unless there is a leak or a fire. If the gas is turned off, don’t turn it on again… that must be done by a qualified technician).
  • Your plan should include a list of where emergency supplies and equipment are stored.
  • Share your emergency plans with neighbors.
If You Are Inside When the Shaking Starts…
  • Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible.
  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. When it is, use stairs rather than the elevator in case there are aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
If You Are Outside When the Shaking Starts…
  • Find a clear spot (away from buildings, power lines, trees, streetlights) and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Then, drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
Earthquake
  • After an earthquake, the disaster may continue. Expect and prepare for potential aftershocks, landslides or even a tumbling house.
  • Each time you feel an aftershock, drop, cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
  • Check yourself for injuries and get First Aid, if necessary, before helping injured or trapped persons.
  • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Look quickly for damage in and around your home and get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated or FM radio in your mobile for updated emergency information and instructions.
  • Check the telephones in your home or workplace to see if you can get a dial tone. Make brief calls to report life-threatening emergencies.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Clean up spilled medications, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately.
  • Open closet and cabinet doors carefully as contents may have shifted.
  • Help people who require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines and stay out of damaged areas.
  • Keep animals under your direct control.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • If you were away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. Use extreme caution and examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to check for damage.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.
Let Your Family Know You’re Safe
Preparing now could save your life! An earthquake could hit Nepal at any time, so start preparing by developing your family emergency plan.
Your family should prepare and practice what to do during and after an earthquake.
Plan your needs. Delegate tasks. Write down and exercise your plan. If you have no family, make your individual plan with neighbors and friends.
Safe: under heavy tables or desks; inside hallways; corners of rooms or archways.
Dangerous: near windows or mirrors; under any objects that can fall; the kitchen… where the stove, refrigerator or contents of cupboards may move violently; doorways, because the shaking may slam the door on you.
Practice taking cover.
Did you know ???
Doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection! During an earthquake, get under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on. It will help shelter you from falling objects that could injure you during an earthquake.
Train members of your family to use fire extinguishers.
Plan!

How to respond during an earthquake ??? It’s not an easy answer. To debrief, when an earthquake struck last time, I left every class and training I took, and threw it out of the window. I just took cover and ran for the open space. I panicked. I shouldn’t have but that is natural human behavior. That’s why I am going through the procedures once again so that I don’t make that mistake again.


Let you family and friends know you are safe. Facebook.com and google.comprovided this software to register yourself on their website telling your friends and family that you are okay. This was a plus when the telecommunications were all jammed up.
This article was taken from #sarojshrestha blog. Please visit me on http://www.sarojshrestha.com.
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