Earthly Preparations

“Be prepared.”

— Boy Scout Motto

I’d like to say that my family is fully prepared for an earthquake. After all,  we have an emergency kit with food, water, and other necessities. Yet, after watching a webinar on earthquake preparedness, as part of being on the emergency response team at work, I now know better.

Great Alaska Earthquake Fourth Ave Anchorage

In the interest of giving something back, here’s a synopsis of what I learned to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Also, I’ll pass along some websites which were recommended to me.

Before –

  • Have a plan, and some emergency supplies at home, the office, and in the car. About 72 hours worth if possible at home, 24 hours elsewhere.
  • Know where the safest things to get under are. Desks, tables, etc.
  • See if your office will provide some emergency provisions.

During –

  • The safest place to be during an earthquake is *probably* in the building. Most newer buildings afford protection and won’t collapse. The risk of falling power lines, trees, and debris outweigh the dangers inside.
  • Get under something heavy and solid.
  • If you can’t get under something solid, get beside a load-bearing wall.
  • The biggest danger inside the office is from flying debris. Especially falling items, like ceiling tiles, cabinets, and desk items.

After –

  • After the shaking stops, assess the building walls and doors. Rectangles are good. Parallelograms are bad. Get out if it looks unsafe.
  • Phone calls home jam emergency lines for 1st responders & 911. Keep calls to a minimum.
  • If it’s a *major* tremor, don’t call 9-1-1 for non-life threatening injuries. Keep people stable unless the injuries are severe. They probably won’t be able to get to you right away anyway.

Recommended Links –

USGS – http://earthquake.usgs.gov/prepare/links.php
72hours – http://72hours.org/
Cert – http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/

Being prepared takes a little time. Yet, if we prepare we’ll be much better able to help our families and our neighbors if a disaster does strike.

Took an earthquake preparedness class, passing along what I learned. 

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About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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