Earthquakes can happen any time, so it’s important that we all do what we can to prepare for, survive and recover after the next one. These 7 steps can help:
PREPARE BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE
Step 1 • Secure your space, by identifying hazards and securing moveable items. Move heavy items to lower shelves.
Step 2 • Plan to be safe, by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency. With your family decide in advance on an evacuation plan and designate an off-island contact who everyone can report to and share information.
Step 3 • Organise disaster supplies in convenient locations. Have a ‘go bag’ easily accessible with a first aid kit, list of medications, 3-5 days of medication, first aid kit, bottled water, high energy food, flashlight, shoes, and cash in small bills.
Step 4 • Minimise financial hardship by organising important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance. Store copies of identification, car registration, passports, or other documents you may need in an emergency in your go bag or car. If you live in rental housing, consider renters insurance.
SURVIVE DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
Step 5 • Drop, Cover, and Hold On during earthquake shaking.
DROP to the ground before the shaking knocks you down
COVER your head and neck with your arms and seek shelter by getting under a sturdy desk or table if nearby; and
HOLD ON to your shelter and be ready to move with it until the shaking stops.
If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and move next to an inside wall of the room. Remain in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
RECOVER AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
Step 6 • When shaking stops, improve safety. Evacuate if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage. Follow your emergency plan. Be careful leaving a building; aftershocks can cause loose bricks, broken glass, and other building materials to fall.
Step 7 • Reconnect and Restore. Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing damage in your space if needed, and rebuilding community. To keep phone lines accessible for emergency use, send a quick text to your emergency contact to let them know you are okay. Only call if there is an emergency situation. Watch for broken glass and other hazards when cleaning up debris. If you are able, volunteer to help others in your community.
A printer-friendly version of the 7 Steps to Earthquake Safety is Available at www.bviddm.com/download/seven-steps-to-earthquake-safety/