An earthquake might be one of the most feared natural disasters by many. In a hectic situation, one might not get to think rationally. However, it’s advisable to stay calm so that safety precautions can be carried out smoothly.
When an earthquake suddenly hits, remember these keywords: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON.
Basic rules during an earthquake
DROP: drop down onto your hands and knees before the impact of the quake wipes you away. Doing this will protect you from falling and doesn’t limit your movements.
COVER: cover your head and neck (if possible, your entire body) underneath something sturdy. If you’re indoors, taking shelter under a table or desk will do the trick. If not, go to an interior wall or other low-lying items that won’t fall on you.
HOLD ON: hold on to your shelter until the shaking stops. Be alert of the surroundings.
Precautions before, during and after the quake
1) Must-have items: a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
2) Know first aid.
3) Know how to turn off the gas, water and electricity.
4) Make plans for where to meet your family members after the quake.
5) Don’t leave heavy objects on the shelves.
6) Anchor heavy furniture like cupboards and appliances to the walls or floor.
7) Know the earthquake plan at your office or school for a smoother evacuation process.
1) Stay composed wherever you are.
2) If you’re indoors, stay inside, and vice versa.
3) If you’re indoors:
- Stand against a wall near the centre
- Stand in a doorway
- Crawl under heavy furniture (table or desk)
- Avoid windows and outside doors
4) If you’re outdoors:
- Stay in the open, far from power lines
- Avoid tall buildings and anything that can fall
- Don’t use matches, candles or any flame.
- Stop the car and stay inside until the quake stops.
- Don’t use elevators. Use stairs.
1) Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for those in need.
2) Check water, gas and electric lines for damage.
- If damage:
- Shut off the valves.
- Check the smell.
- Open all windows and doors, evacuate immediately and report to the authorities.
3) Turn on the radio.
4) Don’t use the phone (unless an emergency).
5) Stay away from damaged buildings.
6) Be careful around broken things like glass and debris.
- Wear boots or sturdy shoes.
7) Be wary of chimneys because they can fall on you.
8) Stay away from beaches.
- Tsunamis and seiches can happen after the quake ends.
9) Avoid damaged areas.
10) Follow the emergency plan or the instructions from the person in charge if you’re at the office or school.
Not only that, but the earthquake might happen again. Therefore, expect aftershocks.
We hope these steps are beneficial for everyone.
We pray that everyone affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria will be safe. Aamiin.