Friday, April 09, 2010

Duck, cover and hold: Advice for earthquake preparedness

Earthquakes are unpredictable and often common in many regions — even in the United States. Just this week, a quake occurred in Mexicali, Mexico. While earthquakes with the power of the one that hit the Haiti in January 2010 are fairly rare, less severe earthquakes happen regularly and can interrupt your daily life and cause injury.

The key to minimizing damage from an earthquake is to be prepared. It’s important to create disaster plans and have an emergency supply kit (PDF) on hand. According to preparedness experts, the best thing to do during an earthquake is to drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on until the shaking stops. This may protect you from falling ceiling lights or furniture such as bookshelves.

Making a plan is the best way to get ready for an earthquake:
• Identify a “meet up” spot for family members in case you are separated and can’t reach home after an earthquake.

• Learn about evacuation procedures for your town and child’s school or daycare.

• Immediately put shoes on to protect your feet from broken glass or sharp objects.

• Check for gas leaks. If you discover one, immediately shut off
the main gas valve.

For more tips on preparing for earthquakes, download this fact sheet (PDF) from the Get Ready campaign.

Have you ever been in an earthquake? Share your experience by commenting on this blog entry.
Photo: Transportation crews work to repair a road cracked by earthquakes in Hawaii in 2006. Photo by Adam Dubrowa, courtesy FEMA.

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