Earthquake Safety Rules

Our deepest sympathies lie with the people of Nepal. We too have suffered causalities  in UP and Bihar. As rescue missions continue, this article, I agree, comes a little too late, acting in retrospection seems to be our thing. Nevertheless here are a few do’s, don’ts, other safety tips and preventive measures for dealing with earthquakes.

Safety Tips

  • Have an earthquake readiness plan.
  • Consult a professional to learn how to make your home sturdier, such as bolting bookcases to wall studs, installing strong latches on cupboards, and strapping the water heater to wall studs.
  • Locate a place in each room of the house that you can go to in case of an earthquake. It should be a spot where nothing is likely to fall on you.
  • Keep a supply of canned food, an up-to-date first aid kit, 3 gallons (11.4 liters) of water per person, dust masks and goggles, and a working battery-operated radio and flashlights.
  • Know how to turn off your gas and water mains.

If Shaking Begins

  • Do not panic, stay calm
  • Drop down; take cover under a desk or table and hold on.
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit.
  • Stay away from bookcases or furniture that can fall on you.
  • Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.
  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.
  • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place. Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

After the earthquake:

  1. Check for casualties and seek assistance if needed.
  2. If you suspect a gas leak, open windows and shut off the main valve. Leave the building and report the gas leaks. Do not light a fire or use the telephone at the site.
  3. Turn off the main valve if water supply is damaged.
  4. Do not use the telephone except to report an emergency or to obtain assistance.
  5. Stay out of severely damaged buildings as aftershocks may cause them to collapse. Report any building damage to the authorities.
  6. As a precaution against tsunamis, stay away from shores, beaches and low-lying coastal areas.  If you are there, move inland or to higher grounds.  The upper floors of high, multi-storey, reinforced concrete building can provide safe refuge if there is no time to quickly move inland or to higher grounds.

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We did the reading for this article from this National Geographic article and this government guideline. The image was originally seen here.

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