Earthquake Safety Rules
Earthquake is a very grave phenomenon, which can cause enormous damage to you and your relatives. To avoid terrible consequences, you should be prepared for such a situation and know what to do. You will be able to save not only yourself but also the people around you and become a real hero. We have collected for you all the most compulsory earthquake safety tips, which will help you to resist the elements.
What to Do during an Earthquake
Your peace of mind will be transmitted to people around you and will help them use your example.
- Make yourself calm and do nothing that can disorganize others (do not shout or flounce about);
- If you are in a room, go to a safe place immediately. Hide under a desk or dining table if possible. Stay in the interior doorway or corner of the room. This is the safest place during an earthquake. Watch out for falling debris or heavy furniture. Stay away from windows and heavy objects (machines, refrigerators) that may tip over or move.
- General earthquake safety precaution – do not run out of the building. Falling debris near the building is the most dangerous. It is better to search for rescue where you are, wait for the end of the earthquake, and then leave the room quietly if it is necessary.
- If you are in a tall building, do not rush to the stairs or elevator. Exits are likely to be crowded, and elevators mostly stop working. Look for salvation where you are.
- Don’t be afraid of the electricity goes out or if the elevators, fire-fighting units, or security systems start ringing, or if the fire-fighting water sprinklers are turned on, be prepared to hear the sound of beating dishes, crackling walls, crashing falling objects.
- If you are in a brick house or other unsafe building, you may decide it is better to leave the room than to be inside. In that case, run quickly but carefully to avoid falling bricks, broken wires, and other hazards.
- If you pass near a tall building, stand in the doorway to avoid falling debris.
- If you are outdoors, try to go out into the open space, away from buildings and power lines.
- If you are driving in a car, stop as quietly as possible away from tall buildings, overpasses, and bridges. Stay in the automobile until the vibrations stop.
- Do not be surprised if you feel the new tremors. After the first strong jolt, there may be a temporary calm and then a newborn jolt. This is the action of different seismic waves of the same earthquake. There may be repeated aftershocks (separate earthquakes, which appear after the main strike). They may occur within several minutes, hours, or even several days. Sometimes aftershocks may cause damage or collapse of buildings, which have been affected by the mainshock.
Preparation for Earthquakes
Think over the plan of actions during the earthquake in advance when you are at home, at work, in the cinema, theater, on transport, or on the street. In advance, plan the most economical and safe way out of the room in case of an earthquake. Remember that it can happen at night, and the doors and corridors will be clogged with people. Doors may also be jammed. Determine in advance the safest places in the apartment (inner corners near capital walls, inner doorways, tables, beds). Apply all safety measures of the earthquake to avoid being vulnerable.
Explain to your family members all earthquake safety rules and what they should do and teach them first aid rules. You must have the first aid kit ready and master the methods of its provision. If you are constantly taking any medication, have an intact stock of medications that you and your family need.
Keep your documents, money, pocket flashlight, and spare batteries in a convenient place. Keep a supply of drinking water and canned food at home for a few days.
Keep the beds away from windows, exterior walls, mirrors, and heavy objects that may fall. Fix cabinets, shelves, and racks in apartments, and remove heavy objects from the top shelves and mezzanine. Store hazardous substances (toxic chemicals, flammable liquids) in a safe, well-insulated place.
Do not spare time to follow all safety procedures for earthquakes. In one day, they can save your life.
How to Stay Safe in an Earthquake?
- Signs of the approaching earthquake: swaying of the building, swaying of lamps, tinnitus of glass and dishes, the sound of glass breaking, cracking walls and falling objects, growing rumble. If you feel the vibrations of the building, do not panic. Do not be surprised if the electricity goes out or if the fire alarm, security alarm, or fire extinguishing system goes off.
- When these signs appear, try to quickly think over your earthquake safety plan to leave the building immediately, quickly get all people out of the building or take a safe place. People have no more than 15-20 seconds to perform real practical rescue actions during the earthquake.
- The safest place during the earthquake is a street (square) away from buildings.
- Leave the building after the first push quickly and the shortest way. You need to know this way and be able to find it even in low visibility conditions. Those who can’t move on their own should be helped and taken to a safe place.
- You should not waste time on charges, take only necessary things, documents, and money.
- You can move along the surviving staircases, and in their absence – use emergency exits or fire ladders. In the process of movement, it is necessary to monitor the condition of structures and avoid injury by falling objects. If the door in the house is jammed, it must be broken into. Do not use the elevator during the earthquake.
- If it is not possible to leave the building in the usual way, you can use for this purpose ropes, bound sheets. They should be securely fastened to the heating battery with a heavy object and go down through the window. This method can be used to evacuate children and victims.
- In no case, you should climb the roof of the building, accumulate on the stairs during the earthquake.
Despite the suddenness of a natural disaster, one should remain calm, self-control, and act quickly, confidently, and safely. Everything should be aimed at saving your own life and helping the victims. Stay calm and do not do anything that disrupts the calm of others (for example, do not shout, do not run). If you act calmly and consciously, you have a better chance to stay safe. Moreover, other people will follow your example.