One could argue – and make a very good point! – that an earthquake is potentially one of the scariest natural disasters to happen. A hurricane can be predicted days in advance. Tornados switch directions quickly, but the National Weather Service has gotten very good at predicting a general area of where they will hit.
Earthquakes, however… you can’t know when an earthquake is going to hit by looking at the clouds. You can’t get a top-down view of how an earthquake will move or damage buildings. An earthquake is one of the few natural disasters you can only react to.
With that being said… are you and your family prepared for the next big earthquake to hit? Here are some of our best tips for staying safe when, not if, this disaster strikes.
An earthquake doesn’t discriminate who it hits or what it damages, and it’s very possible that if a large one hits your area, water lines could be compromised, stores will be closed, and it will take time to get relief to you.
You should always have at least 3 days supply of clean drinking water and food. Nonperishables like canned goods and dried foods should be checked every six months and swapped out when their expiration dates get close.
Don’t forget about your pets, too – have enough food and water for them as well!
It’s important that you stay alert during this time. Even if your phone is fully charged when an earthquake happens, you never know what power lines will go down, after all. Consider keeping one or more spare charging packs in a secure location, so you will have access to emergency services and the phone lines.
Also, a battery-powered radio could be essential, and save your life. Again, if you have no power… a regular radio won’t do. Keep spare batteries in a secure location for it as well.
Create a family plan for your earthquake preparedness, and share it with your family. Do drills so they know where they should be, and who is responsible for what.
In the event of an earthquake, the best plan is to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. Stay low to the floor and look for something sturdy to shelter under, like a solid table. If you can’t get under anything fully, crawl next to an interior wall or doorway, but stay away from windows that could shatter above you.
Don’t crawl around just to move – find a spot and stick with it until the worst is over, and avoid areas with a lot of debris, as it indicates instability.