They are more common in states like California, Oregon, and Washington, but did you know that an earthquake could strike in any state in the U.S.? That’s right. And while many won’t ever experience an earthquake, it is always a good idea to be prepared for one just as you would for a hurricane, tornado, or other natural disasters.
Earthquakes, unlike hurricanes, can happen so unexpectedly that you are only given maybe a minute to five minutes of a warning before the earthquake ruptures. Because of this, it is vital that everyone have an earthquake preparedness plan in place. Earthquakes are known to rattle objects making them become dangerous projectiles and can even cause buildings to collapse. They are dangerous and deadly, and we want you to avoid getting hurt in the midst of all the chaos.
With that in mind, we have provided an outline below for you as to what you want to do when an earthquake strikes and the actions that can be taken after.
Although there isn’t much planning that can be done prior to an earthquake, there are many actions that can be taken to keep you and your family safe.
How to prepare for an earthquake when it occurs?
- Implement the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” technique. Dropping down to the ground will help prevent you from being thrown on the floor. You and your loved ones will want to cover your head and neck with your arms and try and find the safest place that will protect you from any flying debris. If there is something to hold on to, be sure to grab a secure hold of it. This method should be practiced in advance to ensure your children know what to do if an earthquake occurs.
- Don’t get close to objects that are rather heavy and could potentially fall on you.
- Remain where you are until the shaking stops.
- If the earthquake occurs at night, remain in your bed and cover your head and neck with your pillows to avoid being hit by flying debris.
- If you are outside, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Implement the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” technique.
What should I do after an earthquake occurs?
- If you are in a damaged building, try and find a clear path to safety.
- If you have a cellphone and it works, call or text for help or to locate your loved ones if you are okay.
- If you are trapped, try not to move too much but make noise with objects around you so that others may hear you.
- Walk inland if you are near the coast. Unfortunately, earthquakes can often trigger tsunamis, landslides, and avalanches and you don’t want to become a victim to yet another natural disaster.
[Source: Department of Homeland Security].
The most important thing you want to do when an earthquake hits is exercise extreme caution. There is a lot that can occur, especially if the earthquake is a strong one, so be sure you implement these tips and others you have learned to help keep you prepared, safe and protected during an earthquake.