22 Apr Do you know how to stay safe during an earthquake?
Do you know what to do if an earthquake starts while you’re at home, while you’re driving or while you’re at work? Is a doorway one of the best places to be in an earthquake? If you’re in a building, should you run outside? Do you have a plan to reconnect with your loved ones who are at work, home or school?
The 5.7 magnitude earthquake that rattled the Wasatch Front, the state’s largest since 1992, has put a spotlight on earthquake safety and preparedness. Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and occur without warning. And many people don’t know the best ways to prepare for and stay safe during an earthquake.
Read this informative guide for some of the best ways to protect yourself and your family during a seismic event. You’ll learn a number of facts that could save your life! What you do before an earthquake also matters, of course. You’ll want to identify the potential hazards in your home that could cause injury or death during those terrifying seconds of an earthquake and take steps to reduce your risk of injury.
Another important task is developing a family emergency plan. It’s a great way to better prepare all members of your family, and it’s easy to put one together. Here’s a guide to creating one. As part of that plan, you’ll want to make arrangements for contacting one another and reconnecting if separated. You’ll also want to establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
In addition to creating a family emergency plan, here are some of the most important steps to take to prepare for an earthquake:
- Fasten heavy items such as bookshelves, pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
- Have your water heater and other heavy appliances secured. Have a professional install flexible fittings to avoid gas and/or water leaks.
- Make sure every member of your family knows what to do when an earthquake starts. Discussing ahead of time helps reduce fear and uncertainty, particularly for younger children. Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
- Practice periodically how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On by participating in a ShakeOut earthquake drill. Review earthquake preparedness with each member of the family periodically as well
- Store weed killers, pesticides and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
- Check at your workplace and your children’s schools and day care centers to learn about their earthquake emergency plans.
- Have a plan for your pets.