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Disaster Safety: A Guide to Earthquake Preparedness

Disasters can strike any time of the day or night, and when they come, you do not want to be unprepared. Earthquakes, in particular, cannot be predicted, and they can be deadly especially when they happen at night. There is no easy way to mitigate the effects of these events, but you can prepare and learn about earthquake safety before they do happen.

Most of the steps in earthquake preparedness planning can also be used for other disasters, such as fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Although not all the steps may be applicable for specific instances, the evacuation plan and the use of a go bag are vital in any disaster situation.

Creating a Disaster Evacuation Plan

These days, disaster preparedness and earthquake safety are taught in most organisations, workplaces, schools and neighbourhoods. Everyone is encouraged to create a plan to help them prepare for any eventualities. This plan should include preventive measures that everyone can do ahead of time, including the following:

  • Create an evacuation plan and set up a meeting location for everyone
  • Pack a ‘go bag’ containing food, water, medications and documents
  • Assess the building’s structural weaknesses
  • Put up fire and safety signs in your property to guide everyone to safety
  • Secure appliances like the television, computers and other breakables
  • Make a disaster plan for pets

During an earthquake, everyone must learn to do the duck, cover and hold. This is already taught in schools and workplaces during earthquake and fire drills. It is best to know how to protect yourself and small children during an earthquake.

After the earthquake, check for injuries among family members or colleagues. Call for help and assistance in case of any critical condition. Assess damage to the property and when everyone is safe, put the safety disaster plan in action.

Preparation Is the Key to Disaster Safety

Hand completing Emergency Preparation List by EquipmentIt is very important to have details of this plan worked out in advance when a fire or earthquake happens. A lot of people panic and forget about everything when a disaster strikes. Make a list of things to do in an orderly fashion to guide people at home and at the workplace to help them stay calm during such events. After the earthquake, the best thing to do is to start checking off the things listed so that everything will get back to normal.

In extreme cases, emergency services, water, fuel, food and other resources will not be accessible. There can be damage to the property or the building, and it can collapse in case of a strong earthquake. The roads may also be damaged and prevent transfers to other places. It is also important to note that a tsunami can happen when an earthquake happens near the sea. Thus, it pays to prepare an emergency pack and evacuation plan for the whole family especially when there are small children.

There are also government websites that provide earthquake preparedness manuals for businesses and families. They have printable checklists complete with recommendations for emergency goods, food supplies, items to pack and other ideas on how to make your property more secure in case of disasters. You have to learn how to protect your family once an earthquake strikes.

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