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Earthquakes are devastating natural disasters that can destroy entire communities. They occur due to the tectonic plates on the Earth’s crust.
The plates are constantly rubbing against each other. And, when these bumps are violent enough, a seismic wave will happen, causing an earthquake. These can range from a slight tremor to a shake so big it will take out entire buildings.
So if you do find yourself in this situation, what can you do to survive? Is there a way you can prepare for something like this? How can your desk help you survive? And what should you do after the dust settles?
We’re not here just to ask these questions though. We’ve come up with our six most helpful tips on how to survive an earthquake.”
Number 1: Watch Your Surroundings
As soon as you start feeling a rumble, check to see what’s around you. If you’re near any tall shelves, televisions, or glass windows, you’ll need to move away immediately. These are the first things to fall and break during an earthquake.
And if one of them injures or lands on you, it could cause you to get stuck. And if you know an earthquake might be coming, do your best to secure anything that might fall before it happens.
Number 2: Drop, Cover and Hold On
This is the official phrase from emergency management organizations, and are the three most important words you’ll need to know during an earthquake. First, you’ll want to drop low to the ground, and seek some cover.
This could be a sturdy dining room table or your desk, and will be your best bet for surviving any falling debris. Next, hold on and wait until the rumbling stops.
Number 3: Keep on Waiting
Even after the earthquake stops, it’s best to stay put under cover for 1 to 2 minutes. As you wait, more debris might fall, and aftershocks might occur after the initial quake. These are smaller earthquakes that can occur after the big one.
Number 4: Check for Injuries
Although you’ve managed to survive this long, others might not have been so lucky. Check on your loved ones or anyone else near you, to see if they need medical attention.
If you’re a medical professional or are trained in first aid, see what you can do to help. And if you’re not, see if you can get in contact with a healthcare provider. And if someone is injured to the point where they can’t move, try to carefully move them away from any debris that might fall.
Number 5: Check for Structural Damage
Next, after you’ve done what you can for the people around you, identify any other potential hazards in your area. Smell to detect any gas leaks, and look around for any major structural damage that might cause a problem in the near future.
If you can safely do so, turn off your electricity and your gas. This will give you a better chance of preventing any explosions or fires.
Number 6: Go to Your Meeting Place
If you live in a place that frequently gets earthquakes, like California or anywhere along the Ring of Fire, you should have two meeting places arranged. One should be outside your home, in the event of a smaller earthquake, and one outside your neighborhood in case a big earthquake happens.
This will allow you to regroup with loved ones who live with you, and plan where to go next. So earthquakes can definitely be scary, and incredibly dangerous. But if you follow these tips, you’ll have a better chance of surviving.
- “Earthquake Safety Tips – How To Survive”. King, Hobart. 2021. geology.com.
- “Five safety tips to survive an earthquake”. 2013. Real Insurance.
- “5 Ways To Survive An Earthquake – Wikihow”. 2021. wikihow.com.
- “What Should You Do When An Earthquake Hits?”. 2021. livescience.com.
- “How To Prepare For An Emergency Evacuation”. allstate.com.
- “What does an earthquake feel like?”. 2021. usgs.gov.