Planning for Disaster: A Survival Guide on what to do
Why have a Surival Guide? Recently, earthquakes have been reoccurring much frequently. Because of the breaking and shifting of rocks beneath the earth’s surface, it results to sudden and rapid shaking of the earth. They strike without warning- any time of the year, either night or day.
From moderate to very high risk also known in magnitudes, they occur in different states and territories. Having a contingency, learning how to prepare when it strikes like having a survival plan will come in handy and even save you and your loved one’s life.
Knowing if you are at risk before it happens
The first step is asking the proper authorities if you’re community’s risk. You can ask the following:
- Local emergency office
- Red Cross
- State’s geological survey or department of natural resources
Another survival guide reminder is that motorhomes and homes without attached foundations are very much at risk. Also those with foundations are on landfill or unstable soils. Doorways are known to be a place of protection when it strikes but not always.
Preparation before an earthquake
They say that prevention is better than cure. So before any casualties would happen if an earthquake did occur, here are a few preventive measures:
- Know the building’s fire and evacuation safety plans
- Look for safe places that could be occupied when an emergency strikes (i.e. under the table, against an interior wall away from windows or tall furniture that might fall on you)
- Learn and practices the ‘drop, cover and hold on’ in each of the safe places (sit on the floor and cover the head and neck with arms).
- For middle of the night emergencies, keep a flashlight (charged) and strong shoes in each person’s bed.
- Check the house’s foundation if it is securely secured.
- To prevent fires during earthquakes, water heaters and gas appliances should be bolted and braced to wall studs. Know how to turn off gas valves in your home.
- Furniture that is tall like cabinets and bookcases should also be bolted to wall studs. Make sure the doors have strong latches/ bolts and heavy items should be placed closest to the floor.
- Mirrors, picture frames and other heavy items should be moved away anywhere people sleep or sit on.
- Light fixtures should also be braced.
- Keep emergency kits with a survival guide in an easy access location.
Planning for disaster in case of emergency
Nobody wants disasters to happen. But not having a plan is actually planning for one. One of the first things to do is informing the family and preparing them when a disaster happens. Though not together always, make sure they understood how they could contact or find one another when it happens.
Here are a few survival guides according to the American Red cross on keeping it safe when an emergency strikes:
- Meet with the family members;
- Discuss what to do when an earthquake or emergency happens while they are playing, working or sleeping.
- Work as a team. Identify the responsibilities of each member and plan on working together.
- Plan a contingency when one is separated during the unforeseen event.
- Choose a place to meet (fire: outside the house; evacuation: outside the neighborhood).
- There should be an out-of-area emergency phone and person to contact via call or text and be saved written or in their cell phones.
Check out this Survival Guide video for more info.