The recent earthquake that jolted Nepal and major parts of North India has left us with numerous deaths and a multitude of injuries. In light of this event, it is important that all of us prepare ourselves for the worst and follow these simple guidelines.
Drop, Cover and Hold On
If you have a poor memory and can’t remember too much, make sure you keep in mind just this golden rule at the very least. It’s called Drop, Cover and Hold on.
Drop down on your hands and knees and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
Cover your head and neck; use pillows or cushions if you can find them.
Hold on to the sturdy furniture, and stay put until the tremors subside.
Avoid using elevators
This is something you should keep in mind no matter what the nature of the disaster is. During a disaster, especially one like an earthquake, elevator lines are highly prone to being cut, thereby turning your lift to safety into a death-trap.
Head to the nearest open ground
Now, this is to be done only if it’s close by and you can get there safely. You might wonder how being in an open area would be safe. But it is, in fact, the best thing you can do if you’re outdoors. This is because you’d be further away from experiencing a phenomenon called soil liquefaction, which causes rigid structures to tilt and sink.
Stay away from power lines and water bodies
Earthquakes can cause power lines to break, putting you at a risk of being electrocuted. They could also fall into ponds or lakes, electrifying them, again putting you in danger’s way. Also, move away from beaches as earthquakes have been long known for coming hand-in-hand with tsunamis.
Stir clear from high-buildings and trees
Both these could easily tumble over you due to soil liquefaction. In addition to this, breakage of power lines could lead to fires, which trees could readily diffuse.
Park and stay inside your car
Many people are caught completely off guard when an earthquake occurs. So, if you happen to be driving a car or riding in one, make sure to have the car parked on the side of the road and remain inside until the quake is over. Try and ensure that you’re not near any flyovers, bridges or tall buildings. It might seem like a better idea to get out of the car and get somewhere safer, but studies show that more people are killed while running to take cover rather than those who stay where they are.
Beware of aftershocks
Earthquakes are often followed by their aftershocks, tremors which can be as deadly as the quake itself. So, remain wherever you are and take cover even after the quake is over, as you could be injured right when you’re trying to get to a safer place.
Cover your nose and mouth, and create noise
Now, even after having taken all the above precautions, you are caught under something and are unable to move, this is what you must NOT do, move around too much and create dust clouds. This will only entail in suffocating you. What you must DO is cover your airways and tap on something loud to create enough noise for rescuers to hear you
Check for injuries and damages
After the quake and its aftershocks are done with, do a quick inspection of your body. You don’t want to have survived an earthquake only to succumb to some kind of an infection or disease, which untreated wounds could lead to. Furthermore, inspect your house and make sure your water, power and gas lines are intact. Then proceed to provide assistance to those in need.
Ensure that furniture is anchored and stock up on emergency supplies
This is both a measure for before and after an earthquake has occurred. Make sure that you limit the mobility of your furniture so that during the quake it won’t move around too much Also, keep a disaster supply kit ready. Make sure it contains basic first-aid items, water, and non-perishable food.