Out of all natural disasters, earthquakes are by far the deadliest. They come with absolutely no warning, and have the power to shake infrastructure to the ground. If you live in an area that is at risk for earthquakes preparation is a must and decisive action are musts. Here are some ways that you can increase your chances of surviving an earthquake.
Put together an emergency earthquake kit. This should include:
- 3 days worth of drinking water for everyone in your family
- 3 days worth of non-perishable food such as dried fruit, beef jerky, and oatmeal. All of which are not only non-perishable but do not require heat or water (yes you can eat oatmeal cold and dry) to consume.
- First aid supplies, including material to make splints or braces, hydrogen peroxide, and any medicine that anyone in your family takes regularly.
- Additional items that would be beneficial include space blankets, a tent, flashlights or head lamps, emergency water filter, and an emergency hand crank radio.
If an earthquake strikes, you have to respond properly in order to live long enough for your emergency supplies to make a difference. If you are in your home, move away from windows, appliances, and fireplaces. Take cover under whatever you can scramble to. If you do go for a doorway, don’t try to stand in it, curl up and cover the back of your head with your hands. If you are in a larger building, you still want to get away from windows and appliances, but going for a doorway is probably not necessary. After the initial quake is over, you may want to head for the stairway to wait out the aftershocks.
Plan ahead of time where you will go if an earthquake hits. Realize that you may not be able to communicate with members of your family after the quake, so you all need to pick a location that everyone can get to on foot and that everyone knows to go to. Taking a smaller kit with you to work or leaving one in your car will also increase your odds.
The unpredictability and the sheer power of earthquakes makes them difficult to prepare for, but there are still steps that you can take to increase your odds of survival if you live in an area where earthquakes are likely.
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