Scientists have not yet really determined a way to predict an earthquake. That is why, when a strong earthquake strikes, a lot of people get injured, or even killed, and properties are damaged. The only thing we can do, if we live in an area near fault lines, is to be prepared everyday for such eventualities.
Here are the things you should do to prepare for an earthquake:
Prepare an emergency kit
You will never know what will happen after a quake, thus, you should always have an emergency kit for everyone in your household. Each kit must contain at least one gallon of water, food supply for at least three days (you should select non-perishable food), and first aid kit.
You should ensure that you regularly change the food and water in your emergency kit. The food and water in your kit will be of little use if they are already not fit to eat or drink. Instead of saving your life, such might even exacerbate your situation.
Know the mains of your utilities
Earthquake might cause fire from gas leaks and electricity. Thus, it is important that you know where the main switches of your utilities are so that you can turn them off when needed.
Inspect your house for cracks and fissures
You must regularly check the condition of your house to ensure that it can withstand even a strong earthquake. Be sure to have the cracks on your walls, chimney and even door frames fixed. If you live in an apartment, report cracks and fissures to your landlord immediately, so that he or she can do something about the situation.
Have an evacuation plan
You and your family must make an emergency plan for disasters, such as fire, floods, and earthquakes. Each member of the family should know what to do in case of such incidents. You will be able to protect your family more if you prepare them earlier. Panic and confusion can often lead to injuries accidents.
Here are the things you should do during an earthquake:
The first thing you and your family should do is to stay away from objects that might fall off. Stay away from book cases, cabinets, and hanging objects, such as chandeliers, or ceiling fan.
During an earthquake, it is wiser that you stay put, particularly under sturdy tables or door frames. Do not run around or even attempt to get out of the house. There are more dangerous things outside your house that could injure you, such as lampposts and cars.
Make sure that the emergency kit that you prepared is easily accessible. If possible, place it in a location where you and your family will run into during a quake.
Stay away from the kitchen. One of the most dangerous places in the house during an earthquake is the kitchen because there are many pots and pans hanging around and drawers full of knives and cutlery. Furthermore, there is a danger of a gas leak in the kitchen that might cause fire.
What to do after the earthquake
Do not attempt to light a match or a candle immediately after the quake; you are not sure if there are gas leaks. Lighting up a match might ignite a fire, so be very careful. If you can, shut off the main gas valve if you smell gas.
If you suspect a gas leak, open the windows and evacuate your house immediately. You should also call the gas company once you are away from the gas leak. Do not try to call, especially using your mobile phone, near gas leaks.
There will sure be aftershocks after an earthquake, so do not let your guard down even if your house is intact and all the members of your family are well. Be sure to check the news for information about the quake and other important updates.
Remember, not if it happens, but when!