Earthquake Safety Preparedness - In any season
As the summer comes to a close, are we getting close to earthquake weather? Actually, there is no earthquake weather. An earthquake can happen at any time, so we always need to be prepared. And here are seven steps from the LA Sherrif's Department that can help us be ready:
1 - Secure it. Books on shelves, dishes in cabinets, and even TV's can become falling hazards in an earthquake. Secure bookcases to the wall, add latches to cabinets, and secure the TV to keep yourself safe and reduce the potential damage.
2 - Make a plan. If an earthquake happens, what do you do? If you are away from your family, where will you meet? Do you have necessary supplies if the power and water go out? It may not be fun, but having a plan and knowing what to do will put you a step ahead in dealing with an earthquake and on the road to recovery.
3 - Make disaster kits. Food, water, medication, radios, first aid, flashlights. Have your emergency supplies together and ready when you need them. Several kits are available for sale, but you can save a lot by making your own. Just make sure it has everything you need.
4 - Is your place safe? Many older buildings were constructed years ago before we knew as much about earthquake design. If you live in an older home, you may want to have it professionally inspected. Some updates are expensive, but there are also improvements that cost much less than you might expect.
5 - Drop Cover and Hold On! When an earthquake happens, get on the ground, get under cover to protect from falling objects, and hold on. Even in older buildings, you're still safer inside rather than running outside, especially around tall buildings where window glass can come down on the streets. And if you get under a table for protection, be prepared to follow along if it starts moving.
6 - Check it out. After a disaster, check your surroundings and your family first. New dangers or injuries may need quick attention, so be extra vigilant. Learn to recognize the dangers of fallen power lines and broken gas lines. And have phone numbers to call the power or gas company to fix them.
7 - Recovery. After a disaster, the road to recovery can be long and difficult. Contact your insurance agent early and take advantage of government assistance if you need it. Portable radios are very useful. Remember to help your neighbors where you can and check on elderly or disabled friends.