Preparing For Earthquakes (Dos & Dont’s): Simi Valley

Preparing for earthquake is essential especially if you live in an area likely to be hit by such emergency natural calamity.

An earthquake is an abrupt shaking of the ground caused by seismic waves on earth’s rocks. Earthquakes result in the collapse of buildings and can even topple big and heavy objects. These usually may lead to fire outbreaks, damage of roads and other forms of property damage. Human beings are equally at risk of injury, or even death during earthquakes.

Areas that are prone to earthquakes include Southern California and particularly Simi Valley and Ventura County due to their proximity to the San Andreas and other active Earthquake faults. For residents of these areas, preparing for earthquake is a topic which cannot be overlooked.

Earthquakes can cause;

  • Fire outbreaks
  • Damage to roads
  • Tsunamis and landslides
  • Injury to human beings
  • Avalanches

Preparing for earthquake; steps

  • In case you were driving, stop the car and put the car on parking mode.
  • Stay far from buildings if an earthquake finds you outdoors
  • Stay away from a doorway.
  • Do not make a run for the outside.
  • Drop as low as possible keeping a low centre of gravity
  • In case it finds you in bed, find quick cover like under the bed and cover your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows
  • Crawl to safer areas without going through the wreckages
  • Hold on to something substantial if you can spot one nearby

If you are on a wheelchair:

  • Lock the wheels and retain the sitting posture until the earthquake stops.
  • Cover your vital organs using both arms, or pillow.
  • Hold on to your position, covering your head until the earthquake stops

Preparing For Earthquake Before It Hits

In as much as most earthquakes usually occur suddenly and without warning, there are precautionary measures which, when carefully taken in a timely fashion, can reduce the extent of the damages. These measures are;

  • Getting to a safe area in the house to avoid injury on yourself
  • Keep fragile items in the house safe and off the wall lest they fall off and break. Ensuring heavy objects are always kept on the lowest shelves.
  • Having a family emergency strategy like where you all meet in case of separation.
  • Always ensuring that there’s a supply kit that contains enough food for no less than three days. The safety skit should also contain a fire extinguisher, flashlight, first aid and a whistle.
  • Always ensuring that the back- up chargers and power banks have enough power for the phones and other essential devices.
  • Obtaining an earthquake insurance policy; especially if you live in earthquake-prone areas. Remember your typical homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover damages caused by an earthquake.
  • Customizing your building to quickly fix structural problems that can cause your building to crumble when an earthquake occurs

Your Guide to Safety After an Earthquake

After an earthquake, potential dangers should be fixed immediately to prevent further damage. Gas leaks, water spillage or collapsed power lines should be treated with care and immediately;

  • Remember, there may be aftershocks following up the main earthquake.
  • Confirm whether you are hurt before reaching out to help others. Otherwise, you may not be of much help.
  • If the building you are in gets damaged, go outside using the safest route and get the furthest you can from the building. Only do this once you are sure the aftershocks are no more.
  • Do not re-enter a damaged building before the emergency team arrives.
  • If you get trapped in a building, cover your mouth, nose and eyes. If you have your phone with you, call the person nearest to you.
  • Make some noise using a whistle or bang against the wall so that rescuers can quickly locate you. Don’t shout when the building is dusty lest you choke.
  • If you suspect a tsunami may accompany the earthquake, make a run for inland or to higher ground once you are sure the earthquake has stopped.
  • Know when to call and when to text during an earthquake; phone calls are best when it’s an emergency, otherwise, reach out via texting.
  • As soon as you get to safety, turn on battery-operated TV or radio for the latest news emergency information and reports.
  • During post-disaster clean-up processes, do not attempt to remove massive wreckage alone lest you injure yourself. Remember to wear protective clothing like gloves and headgear during clean up. If you don’t have any, try to make do with what you can find around.
  • Let your friends and neighbours nearby know that you are okay if you make it without a scratch.