By: Lea Brannon
Avalanches, tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, monsoons, storms, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions, are all forms of natural disasters. Earthquakes however can pose a major concern for students and residents living in southern and even northern California. Students and their families do not have to be ultimate preppers to be prepared for an earthquake. Luckily creating an earthquake preparedness plan is easy, affordable, and doesn’t take that much time.
Step #1: If an Earthquake occurs
An individual is recommended to drop to their knees so they don’t fall. As quickly as possible they should cover their head and neck with their arms while seeking shelter underneath a sturdy piece of furniture, if possible to avoid serious injury. If indoors during an earthquake, it is suggested to move away from windows or glass that could shatter and when driving it’s safest to pull to the side of the road until the shaking stops.
Step #2: Create a meeting spot with friends and family members
Shakes can be frightening to some, and having a spot to meet up with somebody close can be comforting and important if a large scale earthquake ever occurs. Make sure when choosing a meeting spot that the location is safe from large trees or anything that could fall either indoors or outdoors. Having a portable or hand cranked radio available to listen to the news of the quake or possible damages could be a wise tool to invest in as well.
Step#3: Protect your home and personal assets
One very important step that students can take to protect themselves is to secure any large or possible unstable pieces of furniture in their living quarters or homes. This could be as simple as securing large picture frames onto walls instead of letting them hang by a single wire, or screwing dressers and bookcases into the wall so they will not fall over in an earthquake. It is advised that students should familiarize themselves with their appliances such as home stoves, so that they know how to check for gas leaks or any other potential flammable items around their homes, or living areas. This includes understanding how to use a fire extinguisher if a fire were to start for any reason. Students should also keep in mind that flashlights are safer than candles if the power goes out, especially when checking for things such as gas leaks.
Step#4: Buy or create first aid & Earthquake Survival kits
A first aid kit could be of use for almost any minor harmful injury, whereas an earthquake kit could be the difference between a possible life or death situation. This is because an earthquake kit should include enough water per person in a household, for three days at least. Included in this kit should also be enough food for three days and a spare change of clothes as well. The kit needs to have current medications in it for anyone who has some kind of medication that needs to be taken daily, and it should also have epee-pens in case of an allergy in it too. This doesn’t mean every kind of vitamin, supplement, and health related item should be included for “the big one,” that many people have been talking about in terms of quakes. It just means that all prescriptions should be as current as possible, and things such as baby medications and inhalers should be remembered as well, if they are needed.
Talk of the world ending, or California breaking off into an island from one big quake, has not been fully agreed on by scientists as something that could realistically happen. Sometimes students may find themselves struck with a tad bit of paranoia from all the earthquake talk that could be going around. A wise thing students may want to do to prepare could be; creating a plan for safety, spending a few minutes to talk to friends and family about earthquakes, and possibly buying or making a first aid and earthquake kit.