I`m just going to go ahead and admit it: earthquakes terrify me! Every time I see one on the news, my hair stands up on my arm. I can`t help imagining what it`s like to get up in the middle of the night because your whole house is jumping up and down around you…
And the noise! The noise of furniture banging against the walls… plates, glasses and pots dinging in the kitchen… windows vibrating… and the voice of your frightened children crying for help. I got a cold shiver down my back just by writing this!
I tried to picture how I`d react if my house was just about to crash over me and my family… but I wasn`t very happy with the result. Just like most people, I`d probably freak out and do exactly what I shouldn`t: run down the stairs to get the kids and then go straight out the door and stop in front of the house, where approximately 100 things can fall on me, starting with the house walls and ending with the tree in my yard.
So what`s a man to do when he realises he`s not as prepared for a disaster as Bruce Willis? Well, I don`t know what you`d do… but I started researching earthquake survival like there was no tomorrow. Here`s a brief of what I found:
What you should do before an earthquake:
– Get informed! Read more articles, books or courses on earthquake survival. And watch some documentaries about the biggest earthquakes in history. You`ll notice a whole lot of deadly mistakes you can avoid.
– Tell your family all about earthquake survival. Of course you`ll do everything to protect them if a disaster hits your area, but you`re not a superhero. There are times when you can`t reach your family to provide help. So help them help themselves. It`s the best thing you can do for your loved ones.
– Bullet-proof your home. According to The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, here`s what you need to do to get a secure home, that won`t crash on you at the first shake.
- Bolt bookshelves, water heaters and cabinets to wall studs.
- Anchor things so they don`t move or fall during an earthquake.
- Move cabinets and tall furniture to keep them from falling on you or other family members. Anchor them to studs in the wall with steel angle brackets.
- Put heavy or breakable things on bottom shelves. You can even put “fences” or restraining wires to keep items from falling off open shelves.
- Put child-proof or swing-hook latches on bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
- Use screw-eyes or tongue-in-groove hangers to mount mirrors or pictures instead of hanging them on nails.
- Be sure that ceiling fans and light fixtures are well anchored or have earthquake safety wiring.
- Anchor computers, televisions, stereos and like items with heavy duty Velcro, at home and at work.
- Strap your water heater to anchor it to wall studs.
- Do not assume that anything is too heavy to move in an earthquake. When the ground is going up and down in waves, it bounces even the heaviest equipment into the air.
Enough survival techniques for today, hope you`ll start using them to protect your family against disasters. I`ll be back with more earthquake survival strategies next time, so make sure you don`t miss it! Might save your life one day.