Earthquake Safety News item posted on : Monday November 30th 2020
Earthquakes are a common occurrence, especially in places that are vulnerable, such as California, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, and many other Western states. Earthquakes in California are a geologic inevitability. The state straddles the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is crossed by active fault lines, including San Andreas. There have been over 11,000 earthquakes in California this year, none of which were major. Many Californians can account to experiencing an earthquake, but most have never experienced a strong one. Below explains the Earthquake Magnitude Scale.
But no matter where in the US you are, seismic activity is possible. According to Merriam-Webster, seismic activity is relating to an earth vibration caused by something else; having a strong or widespread impact: earthshaking. Natural disasters are frightening, but earthquakes give little to no warning, making them unique. It is important to know to prepare for an earthquake, what to do during an earthquake and what to do after the shaking is done. Below are a few safety tips for before, during and after an earthquake.
- Practice dropping down and taking cover so that it comes naturally to you when there is an earthquake.
- Invest in an earthquake kit. This can be home-made or professionally made. You do not know how long you could be stuck in one place. Pack the kit with essentials: food, water, bandages, a flashlight, blankets, and other personal items.
- Secure heavy items, such as bookshelves, mirrors, light fixtures, etc. Anything that could fall over during an earthquake and injure a person is a hazard.
- Grab your earthquake emergency ready kit.
- Perform drop, cover, and hold on. Drop to the ground or under a table or desk. Protect yourself by dropping to the ground and covering your head/other important parts of your body. This will help protect you from falling debris or furniture.
- Keep clear of windows – the glass may shatter from the shaking.
- If you are in a car, pull over to a spot clear of trees, powerlines, and buildings. Stay in your car until the shaking stops.
- If you are in a building, take the stairs, do not get in an elevator.
- Once the shaking has stopped, leave the building and retreat to an open space, free of falling objects.
- Prepare for aftershocks, which can occur hours, days, weeks or months later after the initial earthquake. These are generally never as strong as the main earthquake, but they can still cause damage to buildings damaged by the initial earthquake.
- Check your property. Your home/building may have been damaged from the earthquake. Document the damage by taking pictures before you start cleaning up.
- Contact your insurance agent to submit a claim.
For more in depth earthquake safety information, visit: California Earthquake Authority