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Be Earthquake Ready

Are you ready for an earthquake?

Are you ready for an earthquake?

When is anyone really ready for an earthquake? But you never know when it will quake. The follow list are helpful tips and preparation in the case of earthquake. I know it is a little long but you can never be over prepared.

EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS                                              

by Robert Munden

  • Secure your hot water heater
  • Secure household items and furniture
  • Check chimneys, roofs and wall foundations for stability. Note: If your home was built before 1935, make sure your house is bolted to its foundation. If your home is on a raised foundation, make sure the cripple walls have been made into shear walls. Call a licensed contractor if you have any questions.
  • Keep breakable and heavy objects on lower shelves. Put latches on cabinet doors to keep them closed during shaking.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Repair defective wiring and leaky gas connections which are potential fire risks.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Install an Automatic Gas Shut Off
  • PLAN TO BE SAFE DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
  • Practice “drop, cover, and hold on” to be safe during an earthquake.
  • Identify safe spots in every room, such as under sturdy desks and tables.
  • Learn how to protect yourself no matter where you are when a disaster strikes.
  • PLAN TO RESPOND AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
  • Keep shoes and a working flashlight next to each bed.
  • Teach everyone in your household to use emergency whistles and/or to knock 3 times repeatedly if trapped. Rescuers searching collapsed buildings will be listening for sounds.
  • Identify the needs of household members and neighbors with special requirements or situations, such as use of a wheelchair, walking aids, special diets, or medication.
  • Take a Red Cross first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training course. Learn who in your neighborhood is trained in first aid and CPR.
  • Know the location of utility shutoffs and keep needed tools nearby. Know how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity to your home. Only turn off the gas if you smell or hear leaking gas.
  • Get training from your local fire department in how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
  • Install smoke alarms and test them monthly. Change the battery once a year, or when the alarm emits a “chirping” sound (low-battery signal).
  • Check with your city or county to see if there is a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program in your area. If not, ask how to start one.
  • Make sure that you have ample supplier and that nothing has expired
  • PLAN TO COMMUNICATE AND RECOVER AFTER A DISASTER
  • Locate a safe place outside of your home to meet your family or housemates after the disaster.
  • Designate an out-of-state contact person who can be called by everyone in the household to relay information.
  • Provide all family members with a paper list of important contact phone numbers.
  • Determine where you might live if your home cannot be occupied after an earthquake or other disaster (ask friends or relatives).
  • Know about the emergency plan developed by your children’s school or day care. Keep your children’s school emergency release card current.
  • Keep copies of essential documents, such as identification, insurance policies and financial records, in a secure, waterproof container, along with your disaster supplies kits. Include a household inventory (a list and photos or video of your belongings).
  • Have occasional “earthquake drills” to practice your plan. Ask your babysitters, house sitters, neighbors, coworkers, and others about their disaster plans, and share your plan and with them.
  • Stay as safe as possible during an earthquake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks and a larger earthquake might occur. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.
  • When you feel an earthquake, duck under a desk or sturdy table. Stay away from windows, bookcases, file cabinets, heavy mirrors, hanging plants, and other heavy objects that could fall. Watch out for falling plaster and ceiling tiles. Stay undercover until the shaking stops and hold onto your cover. If it moves, move with it.
  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t’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.
  • If in bed when the earthquake strikes, hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway.
  • Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
  • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on. DO NOT use the elevators.
  • If you are in a HIGH-RISE BUILDING, and not near a desk or table, move against an interior wall and protect your head with your arms. Stay indoors. Glass windows can dislodge during the quake and sail for hundreds of feet.
  • If you’re in a CROWDED STORE OR OTHER PUBLIC PLACE, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves containing objects that could fall.
  • If you’re in a WHEELCHAIR, stay in it. Move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels, and protect your head with your arms.
  • If you’re in the KITCHEN, move away from the refrigerator, stove, and overhead cupboards. (Take time NOW to anchor appliances, and install security latches on cupboard doors to reduce hazards.)
  • If you’re in a STADIUM OR THEATER, stay in your seat and protect your head with your arms. Do not try to leave until the shaking is over then leave in a calm, orderly manner. Avoid rushing toward exits.

WHEN OUTDOORS

  • Stay there. If you’re OUTDOORS, move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings, electrical wires and poles. Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
  • If you’re on a SIDEWALK NEAR BUILDINGS, duck into a doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster, and other debris.
  • If you’re DRIVING, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

Fire Prepareness

House on FireYou just never know if a fire might show up at your house so being prepared is a smart thing for you and your family.

FIRE PREPARENESS

Fire is one of the most common disasters. Fire causes more deaths than any other type of disaster. But fire doesn’t have to be deadly if you have early warning from a smoke detector and everyone in your family knows how to escape calmly. Please be serious about the responsibility for planning for and practicing what to do in case of a fire.

Be prepared by having various household members do each of the items on the checklist below. Then get together to discuss and finalize your personalized Fire Plan.

Install smoke detectors outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your residence. Keep new batteries on hand.

New smoke detectors installed:________(date)

Batteries purchased:________(date)

Test smoke detectors once a month: ________(date)

Start a chart and sign it after each round of tests.

______________(family member name) checks smoke detectors.

Look at the fire extinguisher you have to ensure it is properly charged. Use the gauge or test button to check proper pressure. If the unit is low on pressure, damaged, or corroded replace it or have it professionally serviced.

Get training from the fire department in how to use the fire extinguisher.

_______________(family member name) examines extinguisher.

______________________________________________________ (family member names) have been trained to use the extinguisher.

Draw a floor plan of your home; mark two fire escape routes for each room.

Floor plan completed:_____________ (date)

Pick a safe outside place to meet after escaping from a fire.

Meeting place:__________________________________

Practice a low-crawl escape from your bedroom. Try it with your eyes closed to see how well you could do in thick smoke.

Smoke escape drill conducted:__________________(date)

Conduct a home fire drill at least twice a year.

Home fire drill conducted:______________________(date)

Make your home fire safe

•Smoke detectors save lives. Install a battery-powered smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.

•Use the test button to check each smoke detector once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace batteries at least once a year.

• Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Get training from the fire department in how to use it. Also include in the kit written instructions on how to turn off utilities at your house.

• Conduct periodic fire drills, so everyone remembers what to do when there is a fire.

Plan your escape routes

•Determine at least two ways to escape from every room of your home. If you must use an escape ladder, be sure everyone knows how to use it.

• Select a location outside your home where everyone would meet after escaping.

• Practice your escape plan at least twice a year. Once you are out, stay out!

Escape safely

•If you see smoke in your first escape route, use your second way out.

• If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to escape.

• If you are escaping through a closed door, feel the door before opening it. If it is hot, use your second way out.

• If smoke, heat, or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with the door closed. Signal for help using a bright-colored cloth at the widow.

• If there is a telephone in the room, call the fire department and tell them where you are.