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Reading This Could Save Your Life: Earthquake Safety Tips

Reading This Could Save Your Life: Earthquake Safety Tips


It is very likely that you are aware of the 4.8 magnitude earthquake which was felt by many BC residents several weeks ago. What you may not be aware of, however, is what to do to prepare yourself in case of another earthquake. We have compiled a list of tips to help you be as prepared as possible in case of any repeats of the event.

What to do when you’re inside

1.) Stay Inside

– Rushing out the door puts you at greater risk as there will likely be many flying objects that could hit you with full force along the way

– The exterior of your home is a very dangerous place to be as windows, frames and facades will be the first to collapse

2.) “Drop, Cover and Hold On”

– Drop to the ground before the movement of the earthquake causes you to fall

– Cover your head and neck

– Hold on until the shaking stops and 60 seconds after that

3.) Find your nearest table or desk to go under

– Studies show that the greatest number of injuries are caused by flying objects (e.g., TV’s, bookcases, glass cabinets, etc.,) so you want to be covered

– Use one hand to hold on to the table/desk legs and the other to hold onto your head and neck

– Be prepared to move with the table/desk

4.) If there’s no nearby table or desk

– Get down and cover your head next to an interior wall (exterior walls have windows that can shatter)

– Face away from windows

5.) Do not go under a doorway

– Contrary to popular belief, doorways are not stronger than other parts of your home and they also pose a greater danger as a swinging door can hit you

6.) If you’re in bed

– Stay put and cover your head with a pillow

– Moving from a bed puts you at risk for coming into contact with flying objects

7.) The most dangerous room is your kitchen

– Evacuate your kitchen immediately if possible: as mentioned previously, falling objects pose the greatest threat and there are numerous heavy appliances that can harm you in your kitchen

– If you have a gas stove that is on, turn it off before evacuating if possible


What to do when you’re outside

1.) Get to an open area

– Get as far away from buildings, trees, power lines, etc., as possible

– Drop and cover in case of flying debris

2.) If inside a vehicle

-Pull over to the side of the road and press on the breaks

– Stay inside your vehicle until the shaking stops

– Avoid bridges, overpasses, tunnels, power lines, trees, light posts, etc


What to do after the shaking has stopped

1.) Count to 60

– check for injuries, remain alert for falling objects

2.) How to help injured parties

– Apply first aid if qualified

– Do not move injured parties unless they are in serious danger

3.) Prevent danger

– Check for fires, gas leaks water leaks, damaged electrical wiring etc.,

– Check for any appliances that were left on (turn them off)

4.) If you smell gas

– Do not light candles/matches

– Evacuate the building

5.) Find uncontaminated water

– Purify water by boiling for at least 7 minutes

– If you cannot boil water, strain water through paper towels or layers of clean cloth

6.) Do not use telephone

– Unless there is a severe injury, gas leak or fire to report

– You do not want to clog up the telephone lines

7.) If driving

– Stay off of “Disaster Response Routes” for emergency vehicles

– Stay at least 10 meters away from power lines that have gone down

8.) Protect yourself from tsunami threat

– Avoid low-lying areas and waterfronts

9.) Aftershock preparation

– Aftershocks can occur minutes or even hours after an earthquake

– Stay together, obtain first aid kits/food/water, secure tables/desk to take cover under

– “Foreshocks” are earthquakes experienced days or even weeks later


What To Keep In Your Earthquake Survival Kit

1.) Nonperishable food (nutrition bars, trail mix, etc)

2.) Bottled water

3.) Blankets, jackets, sweatshirts, sturdy shoes

4.) Flashlight with fresh batteries

5.) Battery-operated radio with fresh batteries

6.) Small first aid kit

7.) Whistle

8.) Gloves

9.) Waterproof matches

10.) Knife

11.) Toilet paper

12.) Small fire extinguisher

13.) Duct tape


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