Millions of people across the country live near earthquake zones. Scientists have gotten pretty good at seeing the warning signs in advance of most natural disasters. However, some, like earthquakes, continue to be totally unpredictable. That’s why preparing yourself with the right knowledge, plan of action, and emergency kits is so important.
Today, in our neck of the woods is “Shake Out Utah.” Residents and organizations around the state are encouraged to plan and prepare for a mock earthquake disaster that will take place at 10:15 am. Utah has a massive fault line that runs parallel to its main population center. About 2.1 million people live directly above or very near this quake zone! Scientists that have studied the Wasatch Fault’s geologic history have found that, on average, it strikes every 350-400 years. And the last time a major event took place was about 350 years ago.
Millions of people around the country live near earthquake zones. Wherever you are, here are some essential safety tips summed up from shakeout.org to follow in case of an earthquake.
Earthquake Safety 101
When you feel an earthquake, you need to protect yourself. Here are three simple steps to remember that increase the chances of survival if you’re in a structure when an earthquake hits.
Drop – Drop down to your hands and knees. Its likely that you’ve never experienced an earthquake strong enough to cause real damage. When one of these hits, the entire floor and ground can jerk side to side out from under you. This position will protect you from falling and still allow you to move around.
Cover – Find a sturdy desk or table to crawl under and protect your head and neck along the way from possible falling debris. If there is no sturdy shelter nearby, only then get down next to an interior wall or lie next to low laying furniture and protect your head and neck with your arms.
Hold On – Hold on to your shelter (or your neck and head). Your shelter could shift with the shaking, be prepared to move with it if needed. Do this until the shaking stops.
By following these steps, you will greatly reduce the risk of injury. Most building don’t collapse in an earthquake but if the structure collapses, a sturdy desk or table will help create a void space in the rubble where rescue crews can find you.
A 72-hr kit including a three-day supply of water is also an essential emergency preparation item. In case you’re family is separated, it’s important to have an established plan for where everyone should meet up outside of the home, as standard communication lines will likely be down.
As well as a 72-hr kit and water, in many emergency cases you’re going to need a heating source to cook food with. While Camp Chef stove are known for durability and long life, a great stove that easily fits in a 72-hr kit is a Camp Chef Butane Stove. It is lightweight and compact and runs off of a single disposable butane canister.
Visit shakeout.org and earthquakecountry.info for more great information on how to be prepared when disaster strikes.