Earthquakes, for most of us, are not a common natural phenomenon. However, it is surprising to note that in the United States, it is considered that all 50 states have a moderate risk of some type of seismic activity. Even if you do not live in one of the notorious seismic activity hot spots, it is important to have at least some knowledge of how to prepare for these types of disasters and the type of damage they can cause.
For those of us who are in the mindset of preparation, an earthquake is the last reminder of that old cardinal rule, that we can not always count on municipal or regional meteorological services to warn of an impending disaster. As it is now, even with all the geological observation and technology we have today, there is no way we can predict the eventuality or timing of an earthquake.
Geologists can track the progress of these natural phenomena, measure their strength and often identify their source of seismic disturbance. This has led at least to some earthquake warning systems in places like California, which use geological measurements to sound the alarms when an earthquake is in progress. Even so, Japan is still the only country in the world with a comprehensive earthquake warning system at the national level.
The conclusion here is that you really can not count on any kind of warning when an earthquake is approaching. There is no time to prepare, there is no time for Google to do, you just have to know. Here we will see some of the basic elements of a common earthquake preparation kit, as well as some precautionary measures you can take in your home.
Starting with the basics
To prepare for an earthquake, you really need to prepare as you would for any other disaster. Earthquakes, in their destructive nature, tend to eliminate many of the same basic systems that do things like tornadoes and blizzards.
The way this can affect you and your home depends greatly on the environment in which you live. Those who live in suburban areas and rely more on municipal systems for public services may find it more difficult to establish independent systems, but the faster response time for community clean-up and emergency relief.
People who live in rural environments often see the opposite: a more independent lifestyle makes it easier for them to adapt to an emergency, but they tend to see longer waiting times to clear roads, wait for emergency medical treatment and repair public services.
Evaluate your configuration and determine where the strengths and weaknesses are in your location. How long will you be without power? How far is the unit to get supplies and gasoline? Can you go on foot or by bicycle if necessary? Asking yourself these questions now will help you prepare for the duration of a tour in case an earthquake eliminates several of your basic systems, such as those listed below.
How much food do you need to prepare?
As with many other forms of natural disasters, roads can be damaged, making trips to the grocery store impossible. This is where your food preparations come in. Although most humanitarian aid organizations run by the government say that only a few days of non-perishable food are needed, I think that’s a lot of illusions. If there is not severe enough damage on public roads on that motorized vehicle trip, it could take longer than a few days to get these repairs in order.
And if you live in a rural area, you may see an even longer wait, plus a longer trip to buy supplies. If you can not walk three blocks to the nearest convenience store, you will be in a bind while you wait for construction to finish.
I think it is much better to have at least 3 weeks of non-perishable food on hand, at all times, for any disaster that may occur (even if it is only a month of poor quality for work and can not pay for groceries). And, of course, absolutely make sure you have at least one good manual can opener with those food preparations, so that you do not hit them with a hammer and a flat head, trying to open a can of soup.
Store simple things with which you can make several meals, such as canned or frozen rice, beans, meats and vegetables, etc. Many people even go so far as to put together their own ERMs, pre-seasoned and ready to use, so everyone usually needs to do it by putting them in boiling water.
Water is very important
That said, many people do not realize that their water systems rely heavily on electricity to function. Municipal water facilities could easily lose energy, especially in an event as catastrophic as an earthquake, so that city dwellers see their water pressure disappear and their sanitation systems become useless.
Even those with independent well water have electric pumps that bring their water to the surface and a pressure tank (unless you’re one of the lucky ones that can pressurize your water supply by gravity) to push it through your pipes and accessories .
Water is very important, therefore, stack it now, before he needs it. Designate a cool, dark area, buy some containers (there are many options there, depending on how thrifty or “worn” you want) and store plenty of clean, filtered water. Keep in mind how much you will need for a few weeks, which includes not only cooking and drinking, but also sanitation (brushing teeth, bathing), watering pets or livestock, etc.
You can find the needs a little exorbitant and press the space you have to store it, but store everything you can and then have a backup plan to get more clean water in case these reserves are exhausted.
First aid and medications.
In addition to these basic concepts, you will want to have a basic first aid kit on hand, and a field medicine guide will not hurt you either. There are some really excellent resources for those who may have the unfortunate experience of having to practice medicine without the slightest idea of what they are doing.
Mainly, acquire a lot of sterile gauze, sponges, bandages and basic medicines, such as anti-inflammatories, analgesics and, if you can, antibiotics. These staples may pale in comparison to professional medical treatment, but in a scenario where you do not have access to a hospital or an ambulance you can not walk your shredded path, they can certainly help you.
A power supply is a good idea for any emergency kit, to power everything from emergency lighting to kitchen utensils. Consider the types of energy available to you and store your kit with devices compatible with that source. For example, if you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, this is an excellent place to cook. Keep a lot of firewood in all seasons and, of course, a lot of matches.
Carefully consider your sources of light and how much you will use them. Will an AA battery pack help you overcome what could be weeks without power? Consider alternatives to which you may be accustomed, such as portable solar panels and homemade power settings, such as battery banks.
With the food, water, first aid and the energy supply covered, you are well on your way to putting together an earthquake preparedness kit. The depth to which you want to go really depends on you, and the amount of money, space and resources you must invest, as well as the likelihood of an earthquake affecting your area.
Getting seismic: special additions for earthquakes.
With a unique geological event, such as an earthquake, some unique needs arise when you are putting together your preparation kit. The walls are shaking, the foundations crumble, the furniture falls to the floor and creates a hell of a dangerous disaster. With this in mind, there are some special considerations to protect yourself and your belongings that you will want to add to your earthquake preparedness kit.
This is actually one of those rare preventative measures you can take to protect some of your possessions. before The tremors begin. Go through your house and look at everything on the walls.
Even when you’re not preparing for an earthquake, it’s always a good idea to mount things on the poles. These are the wooden beams under your sheetrock or drywall and are often tied directly to the foundations of your house. This makes them incredibly robust, unless their base is compromised (not entirely impossible in an earthquake), then they are likely to go nowhere.
Consider hanging pictures and art with wire and securing the screws mounted on the posts, instead of flimsy supports on the drywall. The vibrations of the earthquake will run through the brittle fragile connection, and they will take them out of the wall. However, the stability of the bolt will keep the frame in place, while the cable will allow them to move freely.
Heavy furniture is a matter of particular concern, so take full measures to mount them also on the posts, using nylon straps anchored to the screws to distribute the movement. Things like book shelves and porcelain cabinets can become deadly in the face of an earthquake, falling and crushing people under their immense size and weight.
Particularly expensive items should be on your list of things to ensure as well. Make sure that your flat screen TV is mounted on the wall in such a way as to allow the distribution of movement. And, of course, always ride a bolt. Bring extra straps and straps in your kit to secure the items as the earthquake becomes apparent (if there is time). You may not always want the computers and kitchen appliances to adjust, but it’s good to have the option once things move.
Have a safe place to go
It is difficult to imagine a safe place to be, as your whole house rumbles in the middle of an earthquake. However, there are some places in a conventional home that are safer than others when you start to feel the earth moving under your feet.
Over the years, false information has abounded regarding the safest place to be in your home during an earthquake, and it even suggests that you run outside to avoid being crushed by a collapsing structure.
However, statistical data have shown again and again that the safest thing to do during an earthquake is to stay as long as possible. As those tectonic plates begin to change wildly, they can cause the ground you are standing on to move back and forth a couple of feet per second. The chances of it being able to stand, let alone run or walk in these conditions, are very slim. You are more likely to be seriously injured with a sprained ankle or worse, and immobilized to reach a different location.
The best you can do? Rejoice in the craftsmanship of Amish heavy furniture. Not really. Again and again, researchers have discovered that the old adage of falling, covering and holding on really saves lives. Although most buildings that follow today’s rigorous engineering codes do not collapse, if they do, a sturdy table is the best option to protect against falling objects and debris. Innumerable images circulate on the Internet of heartbreaking scenes of construction debris, and in the middle of that butchery, a solitary table, still standing.
Then, even if the worst happens and your building collapses, it is likely that a solid table will save your life.
Getting on your knees as soon as the tremor begins will take you to a more secure position, so you do not miss it and leave it still in motion to seek refuge. As part of preparing for your earthquake, consider anchoring your floor-resistant table, or even placing handles under it, to give it something sturdy to hold.
After any disaster, it is entirely possible that phone lines or cell phone towers could be damaged. This, along with power outages (remember, you can not use a modern wireless landline without power, or charge your cell phone) could do so without a means to communicate for an unknown period of time. If you live in a rural area, you could spend considerable time before receiving assistance and, without a telephone, you do not have the means to call emergency assistance.
Then, with your earthquake preparation kit, make sure you have at least some independent means of communication and that you know how to use it. Two-way radios are usually the best way to go, although they can be expensive. However, the important thing if you buy a game of these is to be aware of the channels used by local emergency response teams and how to communicate with them. And it goes without saying to make sure it’s always on and ready, with an auxiliary backup power supply, in case the power grid fails.
In addition to communication electronics, there is one facet of this category that is often overlooked, and it is the communication of these plans with your family. All planning in the world will not do you any good if you are the only one who knows what to do when an emergency arises.
Sit down with your whole family and review each part of your emergency kit, as well as your backup power system and communication devices, and make sure everyone knows not only where everything is, but how everything works. It is useful to write plans and instructions, laminate them and paste them into the kit as well, for reference. Again, it is a bit ingenious, but many great plans fail due to lack of communication.
Waiting for the best and planning the worst.
If you do not live in a tectonic zone, this information may seem to be of little importance to you. But keep in mind that earthquakes occur at the most unpredictable and unexpected moments; This is not to frighten, it is a fact. They can be separated in just a few hours or up to a thousand years. Their precursors are highly complex, they are impossible to predict and the damage they can cause is devastating.
There is a wonderful saying that may seem a little cynical, even a bit stereotyped, but it is one of my favorites: expect the best, plan for the worst. Even if you never see an earthquake in your life, where is the real inconvenience of compiling this simple kit? It is a very basic emergency kit, with some items to make your belongings more resistant and safe (something that parents of young children already do). You have little to lose by following these simple steps, and if an earthquake really hits, you will have everything to gain.