Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tip of the Day: Action to Take Before, During and Following an Earthquake

Some 1,370 earthquakes occur each day, somewhere around the world. 

Of those, 275 are felt by humans. Three earthquakes occurring daily have sufficient energy to cause damage. 

BEFORE an earthquake:

1. Have a mass-trauma first-aid kit readily available;

2. Remove anything that could fall or move;

3. Bolt down shelves, cupboards, bookcases, and china cabinets;

4. Secure or bolt down appliances. They can move dramatically during a tremor;

5. Secure water heaters to wall studs and bolt it to the floor;

6. Store water and food to last for 5-10 days per person;

7. Secure a portable radio with batteries to monitor emergency reports;

8.  Keep fragile or heavy objects on bottom shelves;

9. In a natural disaster, ALL cellular communications will cease to function. If your employer can fund the cost, invest in VHF/UHF communications and/or SAT phones.

DURING an earthquake:

10. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces and appliances;

11. Avoiding glassed areas is particularly important, as during an earthquake or tremor glass fragments can become airborne;

12. Turn off gas, electricity and water;

13. If you are indoors, drop to the floor and make yourself small with your knees on the floor and your head tucked toward the floor (earthquake position); 

Place one hand on a table leg to stabilize it and one hand over the back of your neck.;

Alternatively, get low next to a heavy sofa or armchair, and cover your head and neck with a pillow;

14. Seek cover on either side of exterior walls of buildings, and away from glass and items that can fall on you;

15. Stay out of the kitchen and clear of flying objects;

16.  Stay away from items that can fall from overhead;

17. Do not use staircases or rush outside while a building is shaking, or move around amid flying glass or debris;

18. If you are outside, get into an open area away from buildings, power lines, chimneys, and falling objects;

19. If you are driving during an earthquake or remora  quickly but carefully move your car away from traffic and stop. Do not stop on or under bridges or overpasses or under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs; and

20. Do NOT remain in your vehicle after stopping, but rather seek safe cover.

AFTER an earthquake:

1. See #9 above, BEFORE an earthquake;

2. Render first-aid/CPR to all incapacitated victims of the event; and

3. If you have access to UHF/VHF or SAT phones, summon first responders to your location (if needed).