Earthquakes like all other natural disasters tend to cause a lot of panic and destruction in their wake. Imagine suddenly been woken up in the middle of the night by some vigorous shaking only to realize that it is an earthquake. It is can be scary and this can throw you into complete and disarray because you just don’t know what to do. In the worst cases, earthquakes can be also deadly.
The secret to ensuring your survival during and after an earthquake is preparing in advance for such an event. Your first step towards your earthquake preparation plan is the need to recognize the immediate risk of things around the house that may fall on you causing injury. Stuff that hangs around your home walls or sitting on tables and shelves are likely to fall or may come flying at you potentially causing serious injuries.
Therefore, you need to ensure that there are no dangerous objects near those areas in your home where you spend most of your time, like your bedroom or living room. If there are objects that are hanging on walls, ensure that they are well secured.
If you are near the epicenter of the earthquake, you are likely to feel the effects immediately and they may be strong. This is when things are likely to fly around. Therefore, you need to ensure that things, such as mirrors or objects sitting on a dresser or any other kind of furniture are not anywhere near your bed or places where you spend a lot of your time. Make sure that all furniture is well secured.
One more consideration that you should factor into your plan is to keep a pair or hard-soled shoes near your bed. This is to protect you from broken pieces of glass after an earthquake.
The bottom line is, make sure that any object that can fall down and cause harm is either secured or moved. Check your whole house and not just certain areas of the house.
It is also important to be prepared for earthquakes when you travel. Make sure that the hotel room is secure and you have survival kit always nearby.
Securing water lines and gas lines
Seeing that earthquakes move the very ground that we walk on, they have the ability to rupture water and gas lines if the earthquake is strong enough. Therefore, the risk of a water line or gas line rupturing is fairly high, and so is the risk of your water heater toppling over. So one of the things you ought to do is to get a shut-off wrench or other tool that enables you to easily and quickly shut off your water and gas lines. Without such a tool, it may be difficult shutting off the water or gas from the main meter.
Furthermore, make sure that your survival stockpile includes always enough water at least for a few days. If an earthquake hits, water could be off from larger are and long time. Make sure that your bug out bag includes always enough drinking water, you might need to evacuate.
Survival after the earthquake
One of the biggest challenges that many people who have suffered the effects of an earthquake are the process of rebuilding their lives. Some earthquakes can barely be felt when they occur, but others can destroy a whole city within a matter of minutes. In cases where an earthquake causes massive damage, the process of cleaning up and rebuilding can be long and expensive.
So, if you are one of the unfortunate souls who has had their house destroyed by the earthquake, survival might be somewhat challenging if you had not prepared early. Sitting around waiting for help may take too long. Therefore, you may have to consider evacuating. If you are healthy enough, you may be able to walk a couple of miles.
You should also have enough water and food in your stockpile/bug out bag to survive until you get help or at least until you are able to clean up the situation. You may also not have power for some time. Therefore, a backup generator may be ideal. It is important that you plan to cook and eat without power for some time.
Your earthquake bug-out bag
When you planning a bug-out plan, take into consideration the items you intend to pack in your bug-out bag. Essentially, it is good to pack enough water and food. But, also include other items that you feel will be useful, such as extra clothing, a map, a flashlight and a tool. However, avoid packing too many things; otherwise, your bug-out bag may become too heavy to carry and it will definitely slow you down.
Know the routes to take when you are bugging-out. If you plan on getting to your destination on foot, ensure you have an idea how long it will take to get to the place. If you are driving there, ensure that the car you are taking has a full tank of gas.
What to pack to prepare for an earthquake?
Here are some ideas what to pack in your bug-out bag.
- Bottled water and a water filter
- Food bars (for energy)
- First aid kit
- Lightweight high-calorie food
- A cellphone and an extra battery
- Toilet paper
- Proper walking shoes and outwear
- Emergency blanket
- Fire-starter kit
You may choose to add other items to your list. However, make sure that you pack lightweight items. If your bag is too heavy to carry, making the long journey to your destination will quite challenging.
Watch below useful video about what to do before and after an earthquake.
Natural disasters like earthquakes are things that we cannot control. But, what we can do is try to survive them the best way we can. Earthquake preparedness is one of the best ways to survive an earthquake. Once you have an emergency plan in place, when the disaster occurs, you will not go into panic mode because you know exactly what to do.
If you have a family, make sure that everyone knows what to do during an earthquake. Ensure that each member of your family has their own bug-out bag. Additionally, if you are walking to your destination, ensure that every member of your family is fit enough to make the journey. If not, consider other options that do not include reducing your chances of survival.
So, I hope that this gives you some idea on how to prepare yourself for an earthquake. You will realize that being a little bit prepared can really increase your chances of survival.