Earthquake and Natural Disaster Preparedness....Be Ready
Califorinia has had a lot of shaking going on this weekend as Napa had a 6.0 earthquake. Many other states have earthquakes and it is always better to be prepared. If you live in a Hurricane, Tornado, or Flash Flood state, you can prepare just like the residents who prepare for earthquakes. It is so important to be ready for natural hazards that can happen at a moment's notice.
Before an earthquake:
- Build an Earthquake kit and make a family communication plan.
- Secure items in your home that could fall during a quake, especially heavy objects and overhead light fixtures.
- Make sure water heaters, refrigerators, furnaces and gas appliances are strapped to the wall studs or bolted to the floor.
- Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations, and be sure your residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
- Identify safe spots to take cover in each room, such as under a sturdy table or against an inside wall.
- Hold earthquake drills with your family to practice "drop, cover, and hold on."
During an earthquake:
- If indoors, drop to the floor; take cover under a sturdy table, desk or other piece of furniture; and hold on until the shaking stops.
- If there isn't a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
- Do not use a doorway unless you know it is load-bearing - many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall.
- If you are in bed, hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
- Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
- If outdoors, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires to avoid falling debris.
- If driving, stop as quickly as safety permits; avoid stopping under or near buildings, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously after the shaking stops - roads, bridges or ramps may have been damaged.
After an earthquake:
- When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move. Then exit the building.
- Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in danger of further injury.
- Expect aftershocks as well as power outages. If you live in a coastal area, be aware of possible tsunamis and be ready to move to higher ground.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
- Authorities recommend using your telephone only for emergency calls. For further information, check on the American First Aid site.
- Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been requested by emergency personnel.
- Return home only when authorities say it is safe. Check for gas leaks and damage to electrical systems and water lines. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
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