Making Preparations For An Earthquake
Living in California, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, or the New
Madrid Fault Zone can mean that you can be subject to an earthquake at nearly
any time. There are other ‘hot spots’
including parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Although seismic devices have been set out by
scientists in an attempt to predict earthquakes, there really is no reliable
way to give advance warning for an earthquake.
Studies of the behavior of animals prior to a temblor have been
An earthquake can cause major disruptions to the services
that we have come to depend on for our daily living: water, electricity, and
gas. Once these have been severed it
will be impossible to get water out of the tap, cook food, and provide heating
or lighting. While crews will be working
right away to restore these, if the disaster is widespread it could be days or
even weeks before normality returns.
Water is the most vital necessity; no one can live without
it for very long. You should plan on
providing one gallon of water per day for each member of the family. You can buy bottled water or bottle it
Besides water, you should also have a supply of
non-perishable food available. Once
again, this should be adequate for at least three days, but the more the
better. It is quite easy to assemble
your emergency food supply from the grocery store as long as you choose canned
or dried food. You can also use pre-made food kits and supplies, which have a shelf life of several decades.
As an earthquake can happen at any time of the year, it
would be a good idea to have a source of emergency heating available, such as a
kerosene stove. Make sure that you not
only have adequate kerosene for fueling the stove, but also that it is safely
There are a number of things that you can do to make your
home safer and more secure during an earthquake. Many homes built prior to 1940 are not
attached to their foundations. This can
cause the house to easily slide off the foundation during an earthquake. Anchor bolts can be used to secure the house
to the foundation. The foundation itself
should be checked for cracks, and these should be repaired, as should any
cracks in the chimney – these are all weak spots that will be exploited negatively
during an earthquake.
Quite a few people are injured during an earthquake because
of falling objects in their home. Large
cabinets, refrigerators, and any other large piece of upright furniture
should be secured to the floor. Do not
put heavy items that could tumble off onto someone onto shelves, and do not
hang heavy pictures or other objects over places where the family sits.
Make sure you know how to turn off the electricity, water,
and gas, so you can prevent any possible harm from these sources. Place a strap around your hot water heater to
keep it from being knocked over during the quake.