Are You Prepared For An Earthquake?
Earthquake Zones In The United States
Basically everyone is familiar with the possibility of earthquakes occurring in California, Washington, and Oregon. These states all encompass numerous fault lines and the Cascade Range snakes through Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. This is a geologically active mountain range that gave us the spectacular Mt. St. Helens eruption. Anyone living in this region should take measure to assure their survivability and that of their family should a major earthquake strike.
There is another earthquake zone in the US that few people think about and that is in the area of the New Madrid fault in Missouri. This region experienced a very severe quake in the 19th century, and caused widespread damage to property. Scientists predict that another bad tremblor could strike this area at any time.
Make Your Home As Ready As Possible
It would be impossible for most of us to retrofit our homes to be earthquake-worthy, but you can do some things that will minimize damage to your house and to its inhabitants. The first thing to do is to check your foundation for cracks. If there are any, fix them immediately. If your home is not bolted to the foundation or slab, install anchor bolts.
Much of the injury during an earthquake is caused by heavy objects within the home falling on or sliding into people. Do not install heavy pictures, shelving, or decorations over beds, sofas, or chairs. Heavy appliances, such as refrigerators, can also be bolted to the floor. If the danger is high of furniture such as couches shifting and injuring someone, these can also be fixed to the floor. Keep breakable items on shelves closer to the floor, and caution family members to stay away from windows during a quake – shattering glass is very dangerous.
Providing For Your Family
Besides preparing your home, you should also make sure that your family will be able to survive with a minimum of disruption after a major earthquake. Depending upon the severity of the quake, basic services can be interrupted for days, possibly weeks. Will your family be comfortable during a prolonged emergency?
Water is a basic necessity and your water supply may be cut off if mains are broken from an earthquake. Storing water is an excellent idea, and bottled water can be kept for quite some time. You can also get a counter top water filter that will allow you to filter available water during the emergency.
You will also want to have a supply of food on hand to see you through the difficult times. You can assemble your own supply from canned or dehydrated food, or you can avail yourself of the convenience of an emergency supply kit. These kits will provide adequate, and tasty, nutrition for varying lengths of time (depending on the size of the kit) and have a shelf life of up to 25 years. If you have pets, have extra food put aside for them, too.
Make certain, too, that you have first aid supplies available to treat minor injuries that may result from the earthquake. Keep extra prescription medications in the house, and a copy of the prescription, as well.
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