When thinking about an earthquake, people are often fearful of “The Big One”. This is a massive quake, with a magnitude of 6.7 or higher, that happens at a big fault line. This is capable of immense damage.
The scariest thing about it is the fact that scientists have been saying that it’s long overdue. This puts it on people’s radars.
With the idea of this quake aside, people should still be fearful of all quakes, regardless of whether it is big or not. They are capable of destroying one’s house and surrounding area, and even injuring many people.
Fortunately, it is possible to prepare for any and all seismic activities. Let’s check out how to prepare for future earthquakes.
Possible Damages of Quakes
Before we talk about the necessary preparations people can take, let’s first look at the possible damages that these seismic activities can bring about. These allow people to understand better why preparations are needed in the first place.
Damages to a Home
The first thing to address is the possible damages quakes bring to a home. With the shaking floor, many items can get damaged if not secured well. These could be bookshelves, appliances, anything you have in your cupboards, and many more. The quake can potentially shake up everything in your house and leave it in disarray.
Apart from that, and more dangerously, it is possible for the quake to bring the roof of the house down and trap people inside.
Damage to Surrounding Areas
Next up, we have the potential damage to surrounding areas. One of the best things to do during a quake is to hide under a table. Once it and the aftershocks have stopped, one should head out and seek a large field where things can’t fall on you.
However, if the surrounding area were damaged, it would make it much harder to head out. Furthermore, if the magnitude was really intense, it could knock out the electricity and water services in an area.
Another damage that quakes bring is injuries. These could be from falling objects, or from the quake shaking people around and causing them to fall down and hit their heads. It is possible to avoid these by following the safety procedures during a quake.
Landslides generally happen after a quake has passed, as the shaking of the ground can cause cracks and weak areas in the land to give in. This results in a lot of dirt, rocks, and debris falling down from the above area.
This could potentially bury people or cars that were caught in the path of the landslide. It can also stop people from travelling through a certain path. It is important to be aware of this so that you do not go near any landslide-prone areas.
Lastly, we have tsunamis. These are huge waves that are created by earthquakes. The shaking of the ground causes the water to displace and creates a tsunami
This could potentially damage areas near the shore, as well as any boats that were caught in the open water.
Preparations for Future Earthquakes
Now that we know some of the possible damages quakes can bring, let’s move on to talk about how we can prepare for them.
Create a Plan
The first thing to do is to create an earthquake plan. This should include a designated meeting spot, as well as a plan for if someone gets separated from the group or family.
It is also helpful to have an out-of-state or out-of-country contact that everyone in the family can call in case of a quake. This is so that people can check in and let their loved ones know that they are safe.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
The second preparation is to create an emergency kit. This should include items like food and water, first-aid supplies, a flashlight, batteries, and a radio.
It is important to have enough supplies to last for at least 72 hours. This is because it may take some time for help to arrive after a quake has occurred. Apart from that, one should prepare items that will help one survive.
For instance, water purification tablets will really come in handy once the three-day water supply runs out. If the quake is really bad, it could knock out any potential drinking water sources. The tablets allow you to transform any water into a potable source.
Identify Safe Areas
Another way to prepare is by identifying safe areas in the house. These are places where there is a lesser chance of something falling on you, like under a table or against an interior wall.
It is also important to know which areas to avoid. These would be places like windows, or parts of the house that have a lot of things high up that may fall and give you possible head injuries.
Drop, Cover, and Hold On
One of the most important quake safety procedures is to Drop, Cover, and Hold On. This should be done when seismic shaking is occurring, and it can help protect people from injuries.
To do this, firstly drop down to the ground. Secondly, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall. Lastly, hold on to the furniture or wall until the shaking stops.
Be Aware of Aftershocks
Another thing to be aware of is aftershocks. These are smaller quakes that happen after the main one has occurred. They can sometimes be as big as the original ones, so it is important to still follow safety procedures during these times.
The best thing to do is to stay where you are and wait for the aftershock to pass. Once it is over, then you can assess any damages and proceed accordingly.
Know How to Turn Off Utilities
In some cases, it may be necessary to turn off utilities like gas and water. This is because if there are any cracks or damage to the pipes, then gas or water could start leaking.
So, it is important to know how to turn these utilities off before any quake happens. This way, you can prevent any further damage from occurring.
Have Cash on Hand
Last but not least, it is always a good idea to have cash on hand. This is because, after a quake, ATMs and credit card machines may not be working properly.
So, it is always best to have some cash with you in case you need to buy any supplies or food.
In addition, it may be worthwhile to place important documents in a fireproof and waterproof bag. This way, you can take it along with the cash and secure it with you as you flee your home.
Treat It Like the Big One
Earthquakes are dangerous. No matter what the magnitude is, people should prepare as if the big one is coming. By following the steps above, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones in case of an earthquake.
Stay one step ahead and prepare even more by learning relevant first aid skills and knowledge. The quake, or the subsequent fleeing from it, may cause injuries. Learning first aid practices will allow you to respond to and treat these injuries more quicker.
Learn more via CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course today.