earthquake

earthquake

What is Earthquake?

An earthquake is a trembling or shaking movement of the Earth’s surface. Earthquakes typically result from the movement of faults, quasi-planar zones of deformation within its uppermost layers. The word earthquake is also widely used to indicate the source region itself. The solid earth is in slow but constant motion (see plate tectonics) and earthquakes occur where the resulting stress exceeds the capacity of Earth materials to support it. This condition is most often found at (and the resulting frequent occurrence of earthquakes is used to define) the boundaries of the tectonic plates into which the Earth’s lithosphere can be divided. Events that occur at plate boundaries are called interplate earthquakes; the less frequent events that occur in the interior of the lithospheric plates are called intraplate earthquakes.

earthquake safety

earthquake safety

Earthquakes occur every day on Earth, but the vast majority of them are minor and cause no damage. Large earthquakes can cause serious destruction and massive loss of life via a variety of agents of damage including fault rupture, vibratory ground motion (i.e., shaking), inundation (e.g., tsunami, seiche, dam failure), various kinds of permanent ground failure (e.g. liquefaction, landslide), and fire or hazardous materials release. In a particular earthquake, any of these agents of damage can dominate, and historically each has caused major damage and great loss of life, but for most earthquakes shaking is the dominant and most widespread cause of damage.

The February 6, 2012 incident is a lesson for us all to be always aware and prepared, let us review some of the basic INDOOR SAFETY and OUTDOOR SAFETY for us to be ready always.

Inside safety:

  • Do not run outside or to other rooms during the shaking.
  • Drop down onto your hands and knees before the earthquake knocks you down. This position protects you from falling but allows you to move if needed.
  • Cover your head and neck ( and your entire body if possible) under the shelter of study table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall or next to low lying furniture that won’t fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Hold on to your shelter until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if shaking shifts it around.
  • Do not use the elevators
  • Do not stand in a door -way it will not protect you from the most likely source of injury: falling or flying objects.
  • Quickly move away from glass and hanging objects, bookcases, cabinets, or other large furniture that could fall.
  • If you are in the kitchen, quickly turn off the stove and take cover at the first sign of shaking.

 

Outdoor safety:

 

  • Stay away from utility wires, sink-holes and fuel lines.
  • The area near the exterior walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be. Windows, facades and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse.
  • Stay away from this danger zone.
  • If you are in a moving vehicle, stop  as quickly and safety as possible. Move your car to the shoulder or curb, away from utility poles, overhead wires, and overpasses. Stay in  the car and set the parking brake. Turn on the radio for emergency broadcast information.
  • If you are near the shore and severe shaking lasts 20 seconds or more, immediately evacuate to high ground.
  • Move inland three kilometers or to land that is at least 30 meters (100 feet) above the sea level immediately.

PREPARE

Step 1: Secure it now!

Reducing and/or eliminating hazards throughout your home, neighborhood, workplace and school can greatly reduce your risk of injury or death following the next earthquake or other disaster. Conduct a “hazard hunt” to help identify and fix things such as unsecured televisions, computers, bookcases, furniture, unstrapped water heaters, etc. Securing these items now will help to protect you tomorrow.

Step 2: Make a plan

Planning for an earthquake, terrorist attack, or other emergency is not much different from planning for a party or vacation. Make sure that your emergency plan includes evacuation and reunion plans; your out-of-state contact person’s name and number; the location of your emergency supplies and other pertinent information. By planning now, you will be ready for the next emergency.

Step 3: Make disaster kits

Everyone should have disaster supplies kits stored in accessible locations at home, at work and in your vehicle. Having emergency supplies readily available can reduce the impact of an earthquake, a terrorist incident or other emergency on you and your family. Your disaster supplies kits should include food, water, flashlights, portable radios, batteries, a first aid kit, cash, extra medications, a whistle, fire extinguisher, etc.

 

Step 4: Is your place safe?

Most houses are not as safe as they could be. Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, there are things that you can do to improve the structural integrity of your home. Some of the things that you might consider checking include inadequate foundations, unbraced cripple walls, soft first stories, unreinforced masonry and vulnerable pipes. Consult a contractor or engineer to help you identify your building’s weaknesses and begin to fix them now.

SURVIVE

Step 5: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON!

Learn what to do during an earthquake, whether you’re at home, at work, at school or just out and about. Taking the proper actions, such as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”, can save lives and reduce your risk of death or injury. During earthquakes, drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it firmly. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

RECOVER

Step 6: Check it out!

One of the first things you should do following a major disaster is to check for injuries and damages that need immediate attention. Make sure you are trained in first aid and in damage assessment techniques. You should be able to administer first aid and to identify hazards such as damaged gas, water, sewage and electrical lines. Be prepared to report damage to city or county government.

 

Step 7: Communicate and recover!

Following a major disaster, communication will be an important step in your recovery efforts. Turn on your portable radio for information and safety advisories. If your home is damaged, contact your insurance agent right away to begin your claims process. For most Presidentially declared disasters, resources will also be available from federal, state, and local government agencies.

 

kids safety during earthquake

kids safety during earthquake

 

 

 

 

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