What to do in an earthquake:
What to Do in an Earthquake: A Comprehensive Guide
Earthquakes can strike at any time, without warning, and with devastating consequences. Knowing what to do during an earthquake can be the difference between life and death. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to do during an earthquake, as well as what not to do. We will also discuss the best course of action during an earthquake and how the Japanese handle earthquakes.
The 5 Steps to Take During an Earthquake
During an earthquake, it’s essential to stay calm and take the right actions to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Here are the five steps you should take during an earthquake:
- Drop: When the ground starts shaking, drop down to your hands and knees. This position will help you maintain your balance and protect you from falling over.
- Cover: Find cover immediately. Look for a sturdy desk, table, or other furniture that can protect you from falling objects. If you can’t find a cover, cover your head and neck with your arms.
- Hold on: Hold on to your cover or anything sturdy that can protect you until the shaking stops. If you’re not undercover, hold onto your head and neck with your hands.
- Stay put: Stay where you are until the shaking stops. If you’re outside, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
- Check for injuries: Once the shaking has stopped, check yourself and those around you for injuries. If you or someone else is injured, seek medical attention immediately.
The 5 Things Not to Do During an Earthquake
While there are specific actions you should take during an earthquake, there are also things you should avoid doing to keep yourself safe. Here are the five things you should never do during an earthquake:
- Don’t run outside: Running outside during an earthquake can be dangerous. You could be hit by falling debris, such as broken glass, bricks, or concrete.
- Don’t use elevators: Using an elevator during an earthquake is incredibly dangerous. The elevator cables can snap, and the car can fall to the bottom of the shaft.
- Don’t stand under doorways: It’s a myth that doorways are safe during an earthquake. In fact, doorways are no safer than any other part of a building. Instead, follow the steps we outlined above.
- Don’t panic: Panicking during an earthquake can cause you to make poor decisions. Stay calm, and focus on following the steps we outlined above.
- Don’t ignore the shaking: Even if you’re in a part of the world where earthquakes are common, never ignore the shaking. Always follow the steps we outlined above.
The Best Thing to Do During an Earthquake
The best thing you can do during an earthquake is to drop, cover, and hold on. These three steps will help protect you from falling objects and keep you safe until the shaking stops. Remember to stay calm, and don’t panic. Following these steps can make all the difference in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during an earthquake.
What Do the Japanese Do During an Earthquake?
Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, experiencing over 1,500 earthquakes a year. As a result, the Japanese have developed a culture of earthquake preparedness. Here are some of the things the Japanese do during an earthquake:
- Drop, cover, and hold on: Just like the rest of the world, the Japanese drop, cover, and hold on during an earthquake.
- Have earthquake drills: The Japanese hold regular earthquake drills to prepare for earthquakes.
- Design buildings to withstand earthquakes: Japanese buildings are designed to withstand earthquakes. They have flexible frame joints and use shock-absorbing materials to reduce the impact of shaking.
- Use early warning systems: Japan has one of the most advanced earthquake early warning systems in the world. The system can detect an earthquake and send an alert to people’s phones, TVs, and radios before the shaking starts.
- Keep emergency supplies: The Japanese keep emergency supplies, such as food, water, and first aid kits, in their homes and workplaces. This helps them be prepared in case of a major earthquake.
By following these practices, the Japanese have been able to mitigate the impact of earthquakes and keep themselves safe.
What to do in an earthquake detail:
Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. Most injured persons in earthquakes move more than five feet during the shaking. It is very dangerous to try to leave a building during an earthquake because objects can fall on you. Many fatalities occur when people run outside of buildings, only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. In U.S. buildings, you are safer to stay where you are.
If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.
If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops.
Injuries can occur from falling trees, street lights, and power lines, or building debris.
If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location, stop, and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking has stopped.
Trees, power lines, poles, street signs, and other overhead items may fall during earthquakes. Stopping will help reduce your risk, and a hard-topped vehicle will help protect you from flying or falling objects. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.
Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit.
More injuries happen when people move during the shaking of an earthquake. After the shaking has stopped, if you go outside, move quickly away from the building to prevent injury from falling debris.
Stay away from windows.
Windows can shatter with such force that you can be injured several feet away.
In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
Earthquakes frequently cause fire alarms and fire sprinkler systems to go off even if there is no fire. Check for and extinguish small fires, and, if exiting, use the stairs.
If you are in a coastal area, move to higher ground.
Tsunamis are often created by earthquakes. (See the “Tsunami”section for more information).
If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.
Landslides commonly happen after earthquakes. (See the “Landslide” section for more information.)
There ara still more to the situation of what to do in an earthquake. What you need to do is use your Six senses for the instant decision to be safe during an earthquake.
What to Do After an Earthquake
Check yourself for injuries.
Often people tend to others without checking their own injuries. You will be better able to care for others if you are not injured or if you have received first aid for your injuries.
Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves.
This will protect your from further injury by broken objects.
After you have taken care of yourself, help injured or trapped persons.
If you have it in your area, call 9-1-1, then give first aid when appropriate. Don’t try to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.
Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards.
Putting out small fires quickly, using available resources, will prevent them from spreading. Fire is the most common hazard following earthquakes. Fires followed the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 for three days, creating more damage than the earthquake.
Leave the gas on at the main valve, unless you smell gas or think it’s leaking.
It may be weeks or months before professionals can turn gas back on using the correct procedures. Explosions have caused injury and death when homeowners have improperly turned their gas back on by themselves.
Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, or other flammable liquids immediately.
Avoid the hazard of a chemical emergency.
Open closet and cabinet doors cautiously.
Contents may have shifted during the shaking of an earthquake and could fall, creating further damage or injury.
Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe.
Aftershocks following earthquakes can cause further damage to unstable buildings. If your home has experienced damage, get out before aftershocks happen.
Help neighbors who may require special assistance.
Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
Listen to a portable, battery-operated radio (or television) for updated emergency information and instructions.
If the electricity is out, this may be your main source of information. Local radio and local officials provide the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.
Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold on! Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks, and even months following an earthquake.
Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas.
Hazards caused by earthquakes are often difficult to see, and you could be easily injured.
Stay out of damaged buildings.
If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe. Damaged buildings may be destroyed by aftershocks following the main quake.
Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights to inspect your home.
Kerosene lanterns, torches, candles, and matches may tip over or ignite flammables inside.
Inspect the entire length of the chimneys carefully for damage.
Unnoticed damage could lead to fire or injury from falling debris during an aftershock. Cracks in chimneys can be the cause of a fire years later.
Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents, for insurance claims.
Avoid smoking inside buildings.
Smoking in confined areas can cause fires.
When entering buildings, use extreme caution.
Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.
Examine walls, floor, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing.
Check for gas leaks.
If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor’s home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
Look for electrical system damage.
If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
Check for sewage and water line damage.
If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes.
Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.
Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies.
Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear for emergency calls to get through.
Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard.
The behavior of pets may change dramatically after an earthquake. Normally quiet and friendly cats and dogs may become aggressive or defensive.
In conclusion, earthquakes can be terrifying, but being prepared can make all the difference in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. Remember the five steps to take during an earthquake and the five things not to do. Follow the lead of the Japanese and prepare yourself with drills, emergency supplies, and earthquake-resistant buildings. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to handle earthquakes and their aftermath.