In California, earthquakes are a part of life. With no early warning systems available, it can feel as though earthquakes are impossible to plan for. However, by knowing what to do and being prepared with an earthquake kit, your family can reduce the risk of injury and face less uncertainty when faced with an emergency.
During the Earthquake: How to Stay Safe
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are inside when the shaking starts, you should stay inside. If you are outside when it starts, you should remain outside because doorways and being near exterior walls can be the most dangerous places to be.
If you are inside, take these three steps:
- Drop! Drop down to your hands and knees to avoid falling and maintain control of your movements.
- Cover! Either seek cover under a stable table or desk, or use your arms to cover your head and neck from any falling debris. If you aren’t near a sturdy table, lay close to an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you. Try to stay far from bookcases, hanging objects, or other areas that may be prone to falling objects. It’s important to note that it’s no longer suggested to stand in a doorway because doorways are no stronger than any other part of the house in modern structures.
- Hold On! Whether you’re holding onto your cover or simply holding onto your head and neck, stay under cover until the shaking stops.
If you are outside, take these steps:
- Check Your Surroundings: Look for an open space that is away from buildings, utility wires, sinkholes, and fuel or gas lines. The biggest risks to being outdoors in an earthquake are falling debris from the rooftop, trim, or exterior wall of a building and falling power lines.
- Move: Avoid the temptation to run inside because you would have to cross the most dangerous area of the home to do so. Instead, carefully move to an open space. Be aware of the shaking, and be prepared to move on your hands and knees to avoid falling.
- Cover: Use your arms and hands to cover your head and neck, and wait for the shaking to stop. Once it does, watch for potential hazards such as power lines, debris, and sink holes before moving.
If you are driving, pull over as quickly and safely as possible. Avoid being under over passes, on bridges, near utility poles, or below power lines. Then wait inside the vehicle for the shaking to stop. If a power line falls on you, stay inside the vehicle until a trained utility worker removes the wire.
Other Ways to Be Prepared
In addition to knowing what to do during an earthquake, you can make sure your family is prepared by building emergency kits, teaching household members how to use fire extinguishers and turn off utilities, and taking first aid and CPR classes.
At Premier Aquatics Services, we believe in preparing all of our clients with lifesaving skills. From child swim lessons to American Red Cross CPR Certification, we provide training all year long. Click here to learn more or enroll in CPR classes today!
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