Earthquakes: Before, During, And After
General News | May-19-2020
An earthquake is caused when two pieces of the Earth’s crust bump while sliding past each other. Usually, humans can’t feel when an earthquake occurs, but every now and then, one with a very high intensity strikes, bringing fear in everyone’s heart. Regardless of an earthquake’s magnitude, though, it can be the cause of various life-threatening hazards. Therefore, it is necessary to understand what can be done for safety and protection in case of an earthquake.
An earthquake occurs without a warning. Thus, it is only wise to prepare for it beforehand. These preparations can be done in various forms.
- HAVE A FAMILY PREPAREDNESS, COMMUNICATIONS, AND EVACUATION:
- Have emergency contacts such as the police, an ambulance, close family members ready on hand.
- Make each member responsible for some of the other tasks.
- Discuss how to exit a building and where to meet after evacuating.
- PREPARE AN EMERGENCY EARTHQUAKE KIT:
- Keep important items such as medicinal necessities, food, and water (enough for at least 3 days), extra clothes, extra cash, a list of emergency contacts, local maps, cell phones along with its charger.
- PREPARE THE HOUSE:
- Ensure that wall hanging is properly fixated.
- Find spots in the house that are safe to take cover under.
When an earthquake hits, there are various ways to protect yourself and safely go through with it.
Do not panic and stay calm: the most crucial thing to be kept in mind.
- IF INSIDE A BUILDING:
- Adhere to the drop, cover, and hold technique: Stay in bed if you’re already there and cover your neck/head with a pillow. Stay away from glass or objects that can break very easily.
- DROP- Get down on the floor.
- COVER- Find safe spots to hide under, such as heavy furniture and cover yourself.
- HOLD- Once undercover, hold onto something stable around yourself, like the leg of a table/chair.
- Make sure to turn off the gas stove.
- Stay away from electrical connections.
- IF OUTSIDE:
- Quickly move to a clearing that is away from buildings or wires/cables.
- Drop down on your knees and stay until the shaking stops.
- Be aware of landslides/big rocks in mountainous areas and be aware of water caused disasters due to earthquakes in coastal areas.
- IF IN A VEHICLE:
- Stop as fast as possible and stay in.
- Carefully make your way to a place away from big structures, trees, or buildings.
- Stay in until everything is normal.
Earthquakes can cause serious damage to the surroundings, hence, it is advisable to not move hastily after one happens.
- IF INSIDE:
- Evacuate after waiting for a few minutes.
- Move to a safer place.
- IF OUTSIDE:
- Stay there for some time.
- Avoid going into damaged or destructed buildings.
- KEEP AFTERSHOCKS IN MIND:
- Large earthquakes are followed by earthquakes of lower magnitude known as aftershocks.
- BE UPDATED:
- Get news through radio or television.
- Don’t use cell phones if not necessary.
- IF INJURED:
- Call for help as soon as possible.
- Do not move if not in danger of death or serious injury.
- IF HOUSE IS DESTROYED:
- Call for help.
- Don’t go back in.
- Use the help of local resources.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes are unpredictable and are the cause of severe destruction. It is extremely critical to protect ourselves from them, thereby, making self-awareness a highly significant factor for protection against earthquakes. Always be mentally present and prepare yourself if such a situation is ever to occur.
By: Harshita Kumar
School: Delhi Public School, GBN
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