Tag Archives: Earthquakes

  • The Great Utah Shakeout--It's Coming!

    |1 COMMENT(S)

    Drop, cover, and hold on. According to the American Red Cross and Ready.Gov, doing these three things will protect you during an earthquake.

    On April 17th, 2014 at 10:15 a.m., our team at Emergency Essentials will practice our Earthquake Preparedness as we participate in the Great Utah Shakeout, a state-wide earthquake drill. If you followed our blog last year, you’ll know that we did this drill last April as well, and it was an eye opening experience.

    Here are a couple of tips we learned from last year’s Shakeout that can help you and your family survive an earthquake.

    1.      Practice Makes Perfect. Find out when the Shakeout is happening in your state, territory, or region, and sign up. If there isn’t a Shakeout in your area, hold a family or community drill of your own.

    2.      Learn to Drop, Cover, and Hold on.  Drop to the floor and find a sturdy desk or table to get under. If you can’t find a sturdy table or desk, the Red Cross also suggests “sitting on the floor next to an interior wall [or corner away from windows] and cover your head and neck with your arms”

    Sarah hiding under a desk

    Sarah hiding under her desk

    CAUTION: It’s safer to get onto all fours, so you’ll need enough space under your desk to do that. Once you've dropped under your desk for cover, hold onto your head.

    3.      Stay in the Building until the Shaking Stops.  If you’re told to evacuate after the quake, use the stairs and not the elevator.

    The Great Utah Shakeout: Practicing an Earthquake Drill

    Our assembly staff, evacuating the building post-quake.

    4.      Teach your family and friends what you’ve learned about earthquake safety so they can be prepared, too. You can read up on earthquake safety by checking our Insight Articles for what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

    If you practice the drop, cover, and hold on technique now, you’ll know exactly what to do to keep yourself safe in an earthquake. If you live in Utah, you can begin preparing for an earthquake by joining us as we participate in the Utah Shakeout this year.

    Come in to one of our stores on April 17th at 10:15 a.m. and participate in the drill there. We’ll have free samples of our food storage items, a “readiness rally” where you can practice your prepping skills and get a chance to win a prize!

    Happy Prepping!

    ~Angela and Steph

    Sources

    http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Earthquakes, natural disaster, Emergency plan

  • Preparing for Earthquakes

    |3 COMMENT(S)

    iStock_000012457188XSmall_headinhands

    Earthquakes can be very dangerous and can occur at any time of the year. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and advance planning can reduce the chances of death, serious injury, or property damage.

    When preparing for an earthquake, plan on having enough food, water, clothing, medical supplies and other necessary equipment for you and your family for at least 72 hours. Assistance from local fire and police departments may not be available immediately following an earthquake.

    This checklist will help you get started on the essentials. (This information is taken from earthquake.usgs.gov/faq/prepare.html):

    1.         Fire extinguisher

    2.         Adequate supplies of medications that you or your family are taking

    3.         Crescent and pipe wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies

    4.         First aid kit and handbook

    5.         Flashlights with extra bulbs and batteries

    6.         Portable radio with extra batteries

    7.         Water for each family member for at least 3 days (allow at least 1 gallon per person per day) and purification tablets or chlorine bleach to purify drinking water from other sources

    8.         Canned and packaged foods, enough for several days and a mechanical can opener. Extra food for pets if necessary.

    9.         Camp stove or barbecue to cook on outdoors (store fuel out of reach of children)

    10.       Waterproof, heavy-duty plastic bags for waste disposal

     

    The following information is taken from: www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/index.shtm

    Before The Earthquake Strikes

    If you are at risk from earthquakes:

    Pick "safe places" in each room of your home. A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you. The shorter the distance to move to safety, the less likely you will be injured. Injury statistics show that people moving as little as 10 feet during an earthquake's shaking are most likely to be injured. Also pick safe places, in your office, school and other buildings you are frequently in.

    Practice drop, cover, and hold-on in each safe place. Drop under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to one leg of the table or desk. If you cannot find a sturdy table or desk, or are afraid that the object you've decided to hold-on to may fall on you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

    Protect your eyes by keeping your head down. Practice these actions so that they become an automatic response. When an earthquake or other disaster occurs, many people hesitate, trying to remember what they are supposed to do. Responding quickly and automatically may help protect you from injury.

    Practice drop and cover at least twice a year. Frequent practice will help reinforce safe behavior.

    Wait in your safe place until the shaking stops, and then check to see if you are hurt. You will be better able to help others if you take care of yourself first, then check the people around you. Move carefully and watch out for things that have fallen or broken, creating hazards. Be ready for additional earthquakes called "aftershocks."

    Be on the lookout for fires. Fire is the most common earthquake-related hazard, due to broken gas lines, damaged electrical lines or appliances, and previously contained fires or sparks being released.

    If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use the stairs, not the elevator. Earthquakes can cause fire alarms and fire sprinklers to go off. You will not be certain whether there is a real threat of fire. As a precaution, use the stairs.

    If you're outside in an earthquake, stay outside. Move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines. Crouch down and cover your head. Many injuries occur within 10 feet of the entrance to buildings. Bricks, roofing, and other materials can fall from buildings, injuring persons nearby. Trees, streetlights, and power lines may also fall, causing damage or injury.

    Inform guests, babysitters, and caregivers of your plan. Everyone in your home should know what to do if an earthquake occurs. Assure yourself that others will respond properly even if you are not at home during the earthquake.

    Get training. Take a first aid class from your local Red Cross chapter. Get training on how to use a fire extinguisher from your local fire department. Keep your training current. Training will help you to keep calm and know what to do when an earthquake occurs.

    Discuss earthquakes with your family. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members are not together. Discussing earthquakes ahead of time helps reduce fear and anxiety and lets everyone know how to respond.

    Talk with your insurance agent. Different areas have different requirements for earthquake protection. Study locations of active faults, and if you are at risk, consider purchasing earthquake insurance.

    During an Earthquake

    Drop, cover, and hold on! Move only a few steps to a nearby safe place. It is very dangerous to try to leave a building during an earthquake because objects can fall on you. Many fatalities occur when people run outside of buildings, only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. In U.S. buildings, you are safer to stay where you are.

    If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.

    If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines. Drop to the ground and stay there until the shaking stops. Injuries can occur from falling trees, street-lights and power lines, or building debris.

    If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking has stopped. Trees, power lines, poles, street signs, and other overhead items may fall during earthquakes. Stopping will help reduce your risk, and a hard-topped vehicle will help protect you from flying or falling objects. Once the shaking has stopped, proceed with caution. Avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged by the quake.

    Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. More injuries happen when people move during the shaking of an earthquake. After the shaking has stopped, if you go outside, move quickly away from the building to prevent injury from falling debris.

    Stay away from windows. Windows can shatter with such force that you can be injured several feet away.

    In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake. Earthquakes frequently cause fire alarm and fire sprinkler systems to go off even if there is no fire. Check for and extinguish small fires, and, if exiting, use the stairs.

    If you are in a coastal area, move to higher ground. Tsunamis are often created by earthquakes.

    If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake. Landslides commonly happen after earthquakes.

    After The Earthquake

    Check yourself for injuries. Often people tend to others without checking their own injuries. You will be better able to care for others if you are not injured or if you have received first aid for your injuries.

    Protect yourself from further danger by putting on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves. This will protect you from further injury by broken objects.

    After you have taken care of yourself, help injured or trapped persons. If you have it in your area, call 9-1-1, and then give first aid when appropriate. Don't try to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury.

    Look for and extinguish small fires. Eliminate fire hazards. Putting out small fires quickly, using available resources, will prevent them from spreading. Fire is the most common hazard following earthquakes. Fires followed the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 for three days, creating more damage than the earthquake.

    Leave the gas on at the main valve, unless you smell gas or think it's leaking. It may be weeks or months before professionals can turn gas back on using the correct procedures. Explosions have caused injury and death when homeowners have improperly turned their gas back on by themselves.

    Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, or other flammable liquids immediately and carefully. Avoid the hazard of a chemical emergency.

    Open closet and cabinet doors cautiously. Contents may have shifted during the shaking of an earthquake and could fall, creating further damage or injury.

    Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe. Aftershocks following earthquakes can cause further damage to unstable buildings. If your home has experienced damage, get out before aftershocks happen.

    Help neighbors who may require special assistance. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.

    Listen to a portable, battery-operated radio (or television) for updated emergency information and instructions. If the electricity is out, this may be your main source of information. Local radio and local officials provide the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.

    Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover, and hold on! Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks, and even months following an earthquake.

    Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas. Hazards caused by earthquakes are often difficult to see, and you could be easily injured.

    Stay out of damaged buildings. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe. Damaged buildings may be destroyed by aftershocks following the main quake.

    Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights to inspect your home. Kerosene lanterns, torches, candles, and matches may tip over or ignite flammables inside.

    Inspect the entire length of chimneys carefully for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to fire or injury from falling debris during an aftershock. Cracks in chimneys can be the cause of a fire years later.

    Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents, for insurance claims.

    Avoid smoking inside buildings. Smoking in confined areas can cause fires.

    When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.

    Examine walls, floor, doors, staircases, and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing.

    Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.

    Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.

    Check for sewage and water line damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes.

    Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.

    Use the telephone only to report life-threatening emergencies. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear for emergency calls to get through.

    Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard. The behavior of pets may change dramatically after an earthquake. Normally quiet and friendly cats and dogs may become aggressive or defensive.

    We hope this information has helped you recognize ways to prepare for and respond to an earthquake.

    For more information visit FEMA's web site at www.fema.gov.

    Sources

    http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/earthquakes/during.asp

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Insight, Uncategorized Tagged With: Earthquakes, natural disasters

  • Quake, Rattle, and Roll: What to Do After an Earthquake

    iStock_000021198918XSmall_Earthquake_Woman_Survivor

    So you’ve survived the earthquake, what do you do now?

    First of all, be ready for aftershocks. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you're sure it's safe to exit. If you go outside after the shaking has stopped, move quickly away from the building to avoid falling debris.

    Also be aware of the potential for tsunamis. If you live in a costal area, and the earthquake happened off-shore, consider moving inland to higher ground. Click here to read more.

    After an earthquake has subsided, check yourself for injuries first. You will be able to care for others more effectively if you are not injured—or if your injuries have been treated. If you are severely hurt, stay in place and let someone know you need help by calling out or making as much noise as possible—unless you need to escape immediate danger. Don’t move until someone can help you. If you have a whistle or something you can hit the floor or wall with, use that as your first way to signal for help because over a period of time yelling can cause dehydration.

    If you are able to move, be careful and watch for fallen, broken, or unstable objects. Protect yourself from further danger as much as possible. Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes, and work gloves—they will help protect you against further injury from broken objects.

    We suggest keeping squares of colored paper or cloth by your front window and door. These squares can be used to tell first responders your status. Green means you’re ok and that responders can move on to the next house. Yellow means you need help but it’s not life-threatening. A red square indicates that you need immediate assistance.

    After you have taken care of yourself, help anyone you can find that is injured or trapped. Call 9-1-1 and give first aid when appropriate. Don't try to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. If you do call 911, know that it may take a while to get through. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. Only use the telephone to report life-threatening emergencies. Keep the lines clear for emergency calls to get through.

    Be on the lookout for fires. Fire is the most common earthquake-related hazard, due to broken gas lines, damaged electrical wires, or sparks being released near flammable materials. Eliminate fire hazards as much as you can.

    Look for and extinguish small fires right away. Check for the smell of hot or burning materials, not just the visible signs of a fire. Small fires can start inside your walls where they aren’t visible and quickly spread throughout the building. Fires following the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 lasted three days, creating more damage than the earthquake itself. [Leave this sentence in but also make it a pull-out.] In the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the fires were contained, but were still a concern; 22 structural fires caused additional damage and threatened lives.

    AT THE OFFICE

    If you are in an office or retail building, the earthquake will probably set off fire alarms and fire sprinklers. You will not be certain whether there is a real threat of fire, but act as if there is one. Most importantly, use the stairs, not the elevator. If you see or smell smoke, drop to the ground, cover your nose and mouth, and continue to your exit by crawling.

    AT HOME

    Get everyone out if your home is unsafe. Aftershocks following earthquakes can create more instability in buildings damaged by the initial quake. If your home has experienced structural damage, get out before aftershocks happen.

    Help neighbors who may require special assistance. Elderly people, those with disabilities, and their caregivers may need additional assistance. Those who have large families may also need additional help in emergency situations.

    Seek out emergency information and instructions from your local officials and local radio stations. If the electricity is out, a portable, battery-operated radio may be your main source of information.

    Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, you should Drop, Cover, and Hold on! Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, and even weeks following an earthquake.

    iStock_000015114510XSmall_Messy_Room

    AFTER THE AFTERSHOCK, AT HOME

    Inspect your home for damage. If you do not feel safe inspecting your home for damage, leave immediately. If you decide to carry out a preliminary inspection, use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights if you need light. Kerosene lanterns, torches, candles, and matches may tip over or ignite flammables inside, especially if the quake has caused gas leaks.

    • Watch for loose plaster, drywall, and ceilings that could fall.
    • Examine walls, floors, staircases, doors, and windows to make sure that your home is not in danger of collapsing.
    • Leave the gas on at the main valve, unless you smell gas or think it's leaking. It may be weeks or—in a worst-case scenario--months before professionals can turn gas back on using the correct procedures. Explosions have caused injury and death when homeowners have improperly turned their gas back on by themselves.
    • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas using the outside main valve if you can, and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. Click here to learn how to turn off your gas.
    • Avoid the added hazard of a chemical emergency. Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline, or other flammable liquids immediately and carefully.
    • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
    • Open closet and cabinet doors cautiously. Contents may have shifted during the shaking of an earthquake and could fall.
    • Avoid smoking inside buildings.
    • Check for sewage line damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber.
    • Inspect the entire length of chimneys carefully for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to fire or injury from falling debris during an aftershock. Cracks in your chimney can lead to a fire years later.
    • If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can get safe water from undamaged water heaters or by melting ice cubes.

    OUTSIDE

    Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of the damaged areas of your city. Hazards caused by earthquakes are often difficult to see, and you could easily get hurt.

    Stay out of damaged buildings. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe. Damaged buildings can collapse from aftershocks following the initial quake.

    AFTER THE AFTERSHOCKS (GETTING HELP)

    When the earthquake and aftershocks have subsided, there are a few more things you should do:

    • Take pictures of any damage (to the house and its contents) for insurance claims.
    • When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.
    • Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard. Your pets’ behavior may change dramatically after an earthquake. Normally quiet and friendly cats and dogs may become aggressive or defensive.

    After an earthquake you’ll likely have a lot of recovery work to do. If you can get connected with neighbors and community organizations before an earthquake hits, your post-disaster recovery will be much easier. Look for your state’s Great Shake Out Drill. This is a wonderful way to prepare and collaborate with your community. Most importantly, you’ll be able to learn earthquake preparedness that’s tailored for your region.

    The Great Utah Shake Out is happing on April 17, 2013. Click here to learn more and to register. Here’s a link to upcoming Great Shake Out Drills (including drills in U.S. Territories, Japan, New Zealand, and Southern Italy!)

    Remember to practice ‘Drop, Cover, Hold-on’ with your family and loved ones and you’ll be well on your way to earthquake preparedness.

    If you missed the other articles in our Quake, Rattle, and Roll series, click to read about how to prepare for an earthquake and what to do during an earthquake.

    SOURCES

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/prepare/

    http://www.fema.gov/earthquake

    http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake

    http://www.vibrationdata.com/earthquakes/lomaprieta.htm

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Insight, Uncategorized Tagged With: Earthquakes, natural disasters

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