Most of us believe that those who should only fear earthquakes are people residing on or near fault lines. That is not always the case. Small to devastating quakes can occur in any part of the world. And, who’s to say you won’t be right where a big one occurs if you just happened to be there on vacation or passing by on a trip? This is why every person should learn how to survive an earthquake.
In this article, you will learn what causes an earthquake, what kind of damage it can result in, how to prepare, and how to survive the aftermath. Read on to gain the knowledge you need to be 100% prepared!
How Dangerous Is an Earthquake?
If you’re lucky enough not to have seen first-hand the damage an earthquake can cause, count yourself lucky. You’ve probably seen pictures of broken-down buildings, busted roads, fallen trees, and shattered windows. But, did you know there was once an earthquake so powerful that I caused the Mississippi River to move? Around 1811 to 1812, the region of New Madrid, Missouri was the epicenter of an earthquake that could be felt up to 1000 miles away and resulted in the rerouting of the Mississippi River.
You do not have to be near volcanoes to worry about earthquakes. There are such things as man-induced earthquakes due to deep-sea drilling. This causes the tectonic plates in the earth’s surface to experience even more pressure.
How to Prepare
Sadly, scientists cannot predict earthquakes. They can only make estimations, like how there’s the San Francisco Bay area has a 67% chance of experience a major earthquake in the next 30 years. So, preparation is key! You should, at all times, have a plan in place for how to survive a big earthquake.
The first thing you need to master is your instinct. Learn how to identify the nearest safest location and how to get there quickly. What you want to teach your instinct is that you must avoid falling objects. Pass this knowledge on to your family members.
The second thing you need to do is stock up on supplies. An earthquake can cause power outages and roadblocks, among other things, so you have to be prepared for surviving in place without electricity for an extended period. Your earthquake bug out bag should have a battery-operated radio with extra batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, bottled water, food and medical supplies that can last two weeks, blankets and fuel.
One of the best earthquake survival tips you can remember is to prepare your home. This means arranging items to decrease the risk of objects falling onto people or causing great damage. Store heavy objects on the floor or lower shelve, Anchor your refrigerator, heater, and bookcases. Keep anything flammable away from furnaces, stoves, and water heaters.
Practice earthquake drills with your family. Agree on at least two safe zones for you to congregate should an earthquake hit. These places should be a safe distance from your home and away from any hazards.
What to Do During An Earthquake
Since there is no accurate way to predict an earthquake, you have to prepare yourself for all kinds of scenarios. However, the basic rule of “drop, cover and hold on” can be applied in most situations where you ask how do you survive an earthquake.
If you’re in a building, your instinct should guide you to the safest spot. This can be under a strong desk or table or along an interior wall. An important tip for how to survive an earthquake in a building is to avoid being near mirrors, windows, hanging objects, heavy furniture and appliances, and sources of heat and fire. Hold on to something stable, and do not let go until the shaking stops.
If you are outside when an earthquake occurs, stay away from building walls and power lines. Once you are in a clear area, stay low on the ground.
If you’re traveling in a car, pull over as soon as you can. Keep away from power lines, overpasses, and light poles. Stay in your vehicle unless there is an immediate danger that requires you to step out. Keep your radio on so you can hear any emergency broadcast right away.
What to Do After An Earthquake
Once the shaking has stopped, you should assess yourself and your surroundings. Check for injuries. Do not turn on any appliances. You should unplug them if it’s safe to do so.
If your area is badly damaged, you will need to find a safer zone. Get outside, and if you’re in a building, take the stairs. Remember that aftershocks and tremors occur after an earthquake. Do not try to move anything and wait for help to arrive. If you are in your car, be aware of hazards, like cracks on the road and fallen power lines or trees, if you are driving again. Aside from aftershocks, landslides and tsunamis can also occur after an earthquake. Be wary of that, depending on where you live.
Because of the unpredictable nature of earthquakes, the only way to stay safe is to be prepared! This includes mentally and physically. Now you know how to survive an earthquake, train your mind and body to respond quickly. Make sure you have easy access to the items you need wherever you are – at home, work, or while traveling. Get more tips on emergency plans.