Earth Quake Preparedness

Earth quake preparedness: advice pertaining to preparing for, and how to deal with the aftermath of an earthquake.

Here is a little advice pertaining to preparing for, and how to deal with the aftermath of an earthquake.

Even minor earthquakes can cause a considerable amount of damage in your home. If you live in a region where quakes are likely, it is important to secure all objects that may fall when a quake strikes. Take a walk through your home, garage and patio, taking note of any items that needs to be reinforced. Anything you suspect could fall and cause injury or any cupboard that will open spilling out its contents should be taken into account.

It is best to use either specially designed brackets or strong moving straps to secure large items, making sure they are anchored to the wall for minimum movement. If you have tall cabinets, you can use "L" brackets at the top and sides to anchor the cabinets to the wall. Water heaters should be strapped to the wall as well, because it may fall over disconnecting gas lines, electrical cords and/or spilling hot water on unsuspecting victims.

All overhead lamps and ceiling fans should be checked to make sure they are anchored securely to the ceiling so they do not come loose during an earthquake. Throughout your home you may want to install emergency lighting in selected outlets.

Putting a lip on the shelf where your aquarium resides may stabilize the tank and deter it from sliding off the shelf onto the floor. Water may still spill out due to shaking, but the tank should remain in place.

In the kitchen it is wise to install special latches on the cupboard doors. This will safeguard the contents and keep glassware from falling and breaking on the floors. It will also contain canned items, pots and pans preventing them from ejecting during a quake and possibly striking a victim. Special latches on kitchen drawers will contain items from spilling out onto the floor. Secure your refrigerator door so milk, bottles, and other items will remain contained inside. Store bleach and ammonia in separate locations, because should these two items break open and mix together, they will produce a deadly toxic gas.

Make sure you know where to shut off the water, power, and gas. Place the appropriate tools at each location.

Talk to your children. Be sure to have an evacuation plan the whole family can easily follow. Make sure that the family has a central meeting place in case of separation. Have an evacuation drill every month. Be sure your children know how to dial 911 and get help from the neighbors.

Talk to your neighbors about emergency preparedness. Find out which neighbors have medical experience in case of an emergency. Chose a neighbor you trust to give keys to your house and know how to turn off your utilities in your absence. Give your neighbors a list of important phone numbers and contacts for an emergency situation.

Having an earthquake emergency kit will be your most useful item during and after an earthquake. Preparing an emergency kit in advance should be a number one priority. Make sure all items are non-breakable and compact.

Make sure you have instant access to your emergency kit. Your kit should be in a closet near an exit door, in the trunk of your car or in the garage for instant access. The kit container should be waterproof and large enough to carry the following recommended supplies.

The first section should contain first aid supplies such as:

A first-aid book

Band-Aids of various sizes

Gauze pads

A small roll of gauze

Collapsible scissors

Tweezers

Thermometer

Antiseptic cream

Alcohol

Alcohol wipes

Adhesive tape

Cotton swabs

Safety pins

Smelling salts

Medicine dropper

Antacid tablets

Benadryl capsules

Aspirin

Tylenol

Cold pack

Crushable heat packs

A couple of bandanas (these can be used as a washcloth, mask, sling, tourniquet"¦)



Identification card/ medical permission slips

* You should also carry any prescription medication or equipment needed by any member of your household.

The second section of your emergency kit should contain other useful items such as:

Light sticks

Flashlight with extra batteries

Compass

Pocketknife

Small notebook

Pencil or pen

Toilet Paper

Ziplock bags

Map

Money (small bills and change)

Collapsible binoculars

Pre-moistened towelettes

Portable radio with batteries

Cell phone

You should also consider preparing a kit containing all vital family information. It is best to photocopy the following information and keep it in two separate places. This would be of great benefit in the event of a lost home or wallet. The originals should be kept in a fireproof, get-away box in a safe place in your home or in a safety deposit box at your bank. The other set should be kept with your emergency kit in a waterproof bag. This kit should contain

The full name and social security numbers of each family member

Birth certificates

A current family photo and/or individual photos with family information on the back

Listings of vehicles and car insurance information

Home, health and Life insurance policy numbers

Bank account numbers for checking, savings, CD accounts etc.

Listing of all credit card numbers and expiration dates

Loan numbers showing name address and phone numbers

Name, address and telephone numbers for schools, fire department, police, utility companies, doctors, hospitals and family contacts.

You may also want to include photos of the inside and outside of your home, autos or other motor vehicles for insurance purposes.

Preparing the proper amount of food supplies and bottled water is another important factor in case of a natural disaster. Make sure you have stored supplies for the baby and pets as well.

It is best to attempt to contain your pets in a room or carrier to keep them from straying or hiding during and after a quake. Having a pet emergency kit containing equipment such as carriers, leashes, food and water would be a wise preparation. Make sure you have any medications that your pet requires packed with the emergency kit. Always make sure your pet is wearing a good leather or nylon collar with identification tags. In the event you need to evacuate never leave your pets alone to fend for themselves.

As soon as the earthquake stops, evacuate the house and get into an open area away from your home, other buildings, overhead wires, and possible falling objects. Do not let your family return to the house until it has been inspected for damage, gas leaks, loose ceiling tiles as well as other objects that could cause injury. To lessen confusion, pre-select a designated leader of your family. This person would be responsible for turning off the utilities if possible taking a head count, and answering questions in an emergency situation.

Immediately following an earthquake, turn on a radio or television in order to receive emergency information and instructions. Remember to restrict your telephone calls to emergency aid requests only. Using the cell phone in your emergency kit would be wise. Normal telephone lines will be flooded with calls for help and lines will be tied up. Cell phone calls usually go through other channels that will be open. Since out-of-state calls will go through more easily than local calls, it would be a good idea to enlist a friend who lives out-of-state, who will act as a contact point for your family.

Being prepared for an earthquake will assist in ensuring your family's safety and aid you in recovering from the experience.

© High Speed Ventures 2011