Earthquake Preparedness and Apartments

Just a few days ago, an earthquake woke my husband and me up at five in the morning. This was a very unusual event for us because we don’t live in a state that usually experiences earthquakes. Although the tremor only lasted about a minute, I was already mentally planning how we would get our children and where in our house we would go to be the safest. After the earthquake had passed, I looked up what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises to do during an earthquake. I was surprised to find that earthquakes can happen anywhere. In light of this information, here are some tips to prepare yourself in case you experience an earthquake in an apartment building.

Renter’s insurance for an earthquake may seem like a waste of money, especially if you live in an area that is not prone to earthquakes, however, if you live east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, renter’s insurance may be a good idea since earthquakes travel further and do damage to a wider area in the East. If you live elsewhere in the United States you can check FEMA’s website to find a map showing your earthquake risk by state. This can help you determine whether you consider the risk to be high enough to warrant purchasing insurance in case of an earthquake. Most regular renter’s insurance policies do not cover earthquakes, so you will either need to buy a separate policy or rider.

FEMA suggests putting together a plan for an earthquake before one ever happens since it is much more difficult to come up with a plan during an earthquake. I definitely agree with this advice since I couldn’t remember what the best thing to do in an earthquake is. “Go to the basement? No, that’s a tornado. Go outside? Crouch in a doorway?” Just so you know, the official recommendation for an earthquake is to “take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or bench or against an inside wall, and hold on. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.”

Another piece of information I learned was to put together a 30 day emergency supply since severe earthquakes can damage water, sewer, and power lines badly enough that they take quite some time to fix and stores may not be open due to damage. Some items you may want to include in your supplies include: “water in pouches, containers and a water filter, canned foods, pain killers, creams, first aid kit, prescription medications, vitamins and supplements, entertainment items (books, board games and coloring books and activities), lights (flashlights, lanterns, candles and oil lamps), AM/FM weather radio (hand-cranked, solar powered or battery operated).” An earthquake can be a very frightening event, especially if you have never experienced one before. Being prepared can make it a less stressful and safer for your family in your apartment.

Earthquake Emergencies – 21 Tips To Keep In Mind

Earthquakes are one of the most devastating among all natural disasters. A rather disturbing yet unavoidable fact for the mankind is that none of the equipments, science or measurement scales is able to predict the precise way & time of the earthquake.

The only and hence the most effective means to minimize the severe effects of earthquakes amidst the human lives is making adequate preparations for the earthquake emergencies.

In the situation of an earthquake, one feels that the ground is shaking or rolling. In case the earthquake is a very sever one, that is the movements of earth’s crust are really violent, one might also hear the ground roaring or rumbling.

These characteristics of an earthquake cause sheer panic among the people. Eventually this jeopardizes one’s chance of the survival. Luckily strong & devastating earthquakes do not happen that usually. Even in the locations where there is a minimal chance of earthquakes that is the places & nations that are located near the ring of fire of the earth, it is imperative to have some emergency plans to keep yourself and your family safe.

Here are some tips that might help you getting prepared for the emergencies:

1. Prepare the emergency kits

a. It is very hard to know as to what remains after the earthquakes, so in case you live in an area really prone to the earthquakes, you must keep the emergency kits ready.

b. There must be one kit for everyone in the house.

c. Each emergency kit is your lifeline ensuring your survival after the earthquake.

d. It should contain:

i. One gallon water

ii. Food supply for at least 3 days

iii. Select only non-perishable food

iv. The first aid kit

e. Make sure that you regularly change the contents of the kit like food & water.

f. Make sure that the food & water in the kit are of good edible quality else they would be of little use only.

2. Know All the Mains of All Your Utilities

a. Earthquakes often lead to fire due to gas leaks & electricity.

b. You must know the main switches of all your utilities, so that you may turn them off as & when needed.

3. Inspect the House for Cracks & Fissures

a. Make sure to check your house’s condition regularly in order to ensure that it can withstand even all the strong earthquakes.

b. Make sure that there are no cracks on the walls & chimney.

c. The door frames must be fixed.

d. In case you live in some apartment, instantly report the cracks & fissures to the landlord.

4. Have the Evacuation Plan

a. Make sure that you & your family or the office mates have an emergency plan to face the disasters, like fire, earthquakes & floods.

b. Every member must be aware of their duties and safety measures in such situations.

c. Early preparation would ensure rather more safety of the family.

d. Panic & confusion often lead to accidents & injuries.

Tips to face the Earthquake Emergency while it is Overhead

1. Make sure to stay away from the objects that may fall off.

2. Make sure to stay away from the book cases, hanging objects, cabinets, like chandeliers, ceiling fans, etc.

3. It is always advisable to stay laying down under some sturdy tables and / or door frames.

4. Just don’t run around.

5. Do not make an attempt to leave the house.

6. Outside the house there are rather dangerous things waiting to injure you, like lamp posts and cars.

7. The emergency kit must be very accessible and ready all the time.

8. If possible, place the emergency kit in some place where everyone in the house or the office would run in to during a quake.

9. Make sure to stay away from your kitchen. This can be the most dangerous spot of the house in case of earthquakes, with the various pots & pans hanging around & drawers full of cutlery & knives.

10. Furthermore, gas leakage in the kitchen can be quite dangerous owing to the fire involved.

After the earthquake

1. Make sure not to light a match and / or the candle immediately after the earth quake. In case the gas there is leaking, it might catch the flame.

2. Switch off the main gas valve before lighting the match or candle.

3. In case you are suspecting gas leakage, open all the windows & evacuate the house immediately.

4. Now, call your gas company, after you have moved away from the spot of gas leakage.

5. Make the call, only when you are out of that spot as the mobile phone usage in the gas can also lead to a flame.

6. Often earthquakes are followed by some aftershocks. Do not put your guards down even though you, your house and the family are all safe.

7. Check the news to get information on the earthquake & other important updates.