An earthquake hits with little to no warning. Scientists are working on early warning technology like that for tornadoes. But until then, the best earthquake preparation is actually to do your research on the area you live in.
Know Your Area’s Earthquake History
Are you in an area that is prone to earthquakes? See if your house is current on building codes to protect your home from an earthquake. If not, contact local contractors and bring your house up to code or add additional protections. Research what resources your locality has should an earthquake happen. Is there an emergency plan in place for the city?
Prepare for an Earthquake
These tips come from safety experts.
Look around the inside of your house. Identify items that could fall or be thrown on you during a quake. Consider bolting down bookshelves and mirrors. A pile of books landing on top of you might hurt, but a bookshelf with all those books can kill you.
Locate areas around your house that are sturdy and away from windows and glass to take cover and hold on. A heavy table that you can duck under is a great place to take cover.
Store critical supplies in an easy-to-grab kit – water, canned food, medication, and important documents.
If an earthquake occurs at night while you’re sleeping, stay in your bed. Cover your head and neck with your pillows. It is safer to stay in your bed in the dark. Otherwise, you may not be able to see where to go while the ground is shaking. An earthquake is disorienting and can affect your senses.
Remember these blue blocks to keep you safe during an earthquake:
Should you get trapped under debris, find a hollow object and hold onto it. Then hit or bang on it to alert first responders and other survivors. A pipe is one example. Another trick is to use a whistle. Some people place whistles on their keys and keep them within reach. A whistle would alert someone to your location.
Be aware of possible aftershocks.
Some Earthquakes Trigger Additional Severe Weather
If you live in an area near the ocean or the great lakes, be on the alert for tsunami or tornado warnings. Get to higher ground.
Check out this previous post we wrote during Hurricane Matthew. It has important information about Food and Water Safety.
For more in-depth information on protecting yourself during an earthquake, visit the federal government’s ready.gov/earthquake.