Southern California is known for its beautiful weather – and frequent earthquakes.
While earthquakes are an integral feature of California’s geological makeup, they can strike at any time, rattling our windows and our nerves. Within the past 365 days, California has experienced 8,023 earthquakes!
In an effort to help you prepare for the next earthquake, SAMLARC has compiled a list of preparedness tips to reduce the damage caused by earthquakes within the SAMLARC community.
1. Work on your home! Take time to visit a hardware store and strap bookshelves to the wall, televisions to their stands and microwaves to countertops. This will not only save you the cost of replacing these items but will also keep you safe from falling debris in an earthquake. In the same vein, install safety latches on kitchen cabinets to keep plates and glasses from falling onto the floor and breaking. Earthquake-resistant picture hooks are inexpensive and will serve to preserve your memories in the event of a natural disaster.
2. Learn about your home’s gas line, and how to turn it off. Install an automatic valve that shuts off the gas to the house when the shaking begins in an earthquake, or at least learn how to shut off your gas manually. Failure to do so could start a fire or induce gas poisoning.
3. Organize a disaster supply box that will accommodate each person in the household for three days. Include the following items:
• First aid kit • Medications • Bottled water • Emergency cash • Maps • High calorie snack foods • Working flashlight • Personal hygiene supplies • Copies of personal identification
4. During an earthquake, reduce your chance of injury by taking proper action. In most situations, the appropriate protocol is: “DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON.”
• DROP to your hands and knees • COVER your head and heck with your arms and hands (if a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter) • HOLD ON until the shaking stops
5. After an earthquake has subsided, be mindful of unstable buildings, broken glass, and other hazards. In the event of a severe quake, you should grab your emergency supplies and leave your home until emergency response teams arrive. Gas leaks, building collapse, and broken glass are all threats until you leave your home.
Implementing these strategies can make a world of difference in the event of an earthquake. Stay tuned for more natural disaster preparation strategies from SAMLARC!