Earthquakes are the shaking, rolling or sudden shock of the earth’s surface. They are the earth’s natural means of releasing stress. More than a million earthquakes rattle the world each year. The West Coast is most at risk of having an earthquake, but earthquakes can happen in the Midwest and along the East Coast. Earthquakes can be felt over large areas, although they usually last less than one minute. Earthquakes cannot be predicted – but scientists are working on it! Earthquake damage depends on what area is hit. If an unpopulated region is struck, there will be low loss of life or property. If it hits a large city, there may be many injuries and much destruction.
What Could Happen
- With little notice you may be asked to evacuate your home and live elsewhere for a period of time.
- Important documents may be lost if your home is destroyed.
- Pets may suffer or need other shelter while you are gone.
- You may lose contact with other family members.
- Falling objects may cause injury, gas lines may rupture, glass shatter, lights go out and electricity shut off.
Before an Earthquake BE PREPARED (www.ready.gov)
The following are some of the things FEMA suggests you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake. For a complete list visit the website listed above
- Fasten shelves securely to walls.
- Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
- Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
- Brace overhead light fixtures and top-heavy objects.
- Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off value installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
- Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
- Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.
1. Watch the video (below)
2. Download the earthquake preparedness supplement and discuss with your family how you are currently prepared, and the areas which need improvement.
Download here: Become Informed: Earthquake
Become Informed: Utility Failure
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