Living in California means you could experience an earthquake. They’re far more common than people realize. While most earthquakes are so small they’re hardly noticeable, there is always a chance that a large earthquake could occur.
The problem with a large earthquake is that not only could it do a great deal of damage and put people in danger, but it’s also impossible to predict when they’re going to occur. That’s why it’s so important to know how to respond and protect yourself if you’re caught in a major earthquake.
- Have a specific meeting place where you and your loved ones will meet in the event of an earthquake
- Keep several fire extinguishers in your home. Ideally, you should have one in each room
- Make sure everyone knows how to turn off the water and gas in your home
- Periodically go through your home and make sure all heavy objects, such as mirrors and bookcases are tightly attached to the walls so that they won’t fall and injure someone during an earthquake
- Pack a few different earthquake prep bags that include things like a first aid kit, water bottles, and some non-perishable snacks and stash them in various places around your home.
- Equip your earthquake survival kit with battery packs, flashlights, and warm socks
Every few months gather your family and go through an earthquake survival plan. This provides you with an opportunity to establish the best places within your home you can retreat to if there’s an earthquake. Good choices are reinforced areas such as closets and doorways. Make sure that there is nothing near these places that could fall into the same space and cause serious injuries. Remember, most earthquake injuries and fatalities are caused by falling objects.
Since it’s impossible to know when a large earthquake will happen, your family must discuss what you’ll do if you’re not home or together during a major earthquake. Establish where everyone should go and discuss who will be in charge of contacting who.
Don’t be passive during an earthquake. Once you’ve reached a secure place drop down to your knees so you’re sturdy and unlikely to fall and hit your head. Use your arms to protect your head. Stay in place for several minutes until you’re confident there won’t be any more tremors.
The most important thing to remember when you’re caught in an earthquake is to stay calm and not do anything rash.