After an Earthquake when the Shaking Stops
After the Shaking Stops during an Earthquake, What do we do?
The danger does not subside immediately after the shaking stops, often there is still the danger of falling debris, hydro lines and structures whose integrity has been compromised. First and foremost, look up and around you before leaving your safe spot. remove yourself from any clear and present danger. Stay calm and check yourself and those near you for injuries, apply first aid if necessary, be prepared for aftershocks. Do not remove any seriously injured individuals unless they are in immediate danger.
After you have gone through your list, and everything is OK, then place and OK sign in your front window to let emergency workers know, this process saves them time when they are canvassing door to door. If you require help place a sign that says HELP in the front window. Have this sign made up in advance.
If your home is severely damaged and unsafe move out immediately, gather your supplies together and camp out in your front yard, away from any danger, this is called Shelter in place, if at all possible stay where you are unless you have life threatening injuries in which case you are to go to the nearest hospital. It will take a few days for emergency workers to help you depending on the severity of the quake. So stay put. And expect aftershocks. Even if your home seems safe, the integrity of the structure may not withstand the aftershocks.
The local emergency program will use radio and/or if required PA systems on first res-ponder vehicles to tell you what they have opened and how to get there.
- Carefully survey the area and check for fires, gas and water leaks and damaged electrical wiring or sewer lines. Check chimneys, roofs, walls, and foundations for structural damage. If you suspect there is serious damage, remove yourself from the building. Only attempt to turn off the lines if it does not pose a threat to you.
- Keep in mind that there may be other types of hazards caused by earthquakes including fire, landslides, highway damage, dam failures, liquefaction, cracks etc. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquefaction
- Check food and water supplies. Emergency water may be obtained from water heaters, melted ice cubes, back of toilet tanks and canned vegetables.
- Seek out sources of uncontaminated water. In an emergency, purify water by straining through a paper towel or several layers of clean cloth and by boiling vigorously for at least six minutes. In your own kit have a water filter kit (used for hiking) or water treatment kit. (Pristine Water Purification Systems)
- Do not use BBQ’s, camp stoves or un vented heaters indoors.
- Do not flush the toilet if the sewer line is damaged. You may also need to consider digging an outhouse.
- Do not use the telephone unless there is a severe injury or fire to report.
- Turn on your portable radio for instructions and news reports, and cooperate fully with public safety officials.
- Keep Disaster Response Routes clear for emergency vehicles.
- Be prepared for aftershocks, they could be as strong as the first shake.
- Keep in mind that most casualties from earthquakes are a result of falling or flying debris and partial building collapse, like toppling chimneys, ceiling plaster, shattered glass and light fixtures.