Earthquakes: How to Prepare for One
Prepare for an Earthquake: Learn How to Prepare Yourself For An Earthquake
Many areas have earthquakes but how do you prepare for an earthquake? The major quake in Japan, the strongest one in 100 years, 700 times stronger than the one in Haiti, devastated the country, leaving people without food, water, or electricity. But did you know that fires actually can cause more deaths than the earthquake itself? Do you know where to shut off the power and gas at your home?What if an Earthquake happened in your town, would you be prepared?
It's better to prepare and never need your Earthquake kit, than to have an earthquake and realize you only have one flashlight and nothing else.
How do you prepare for an earthquake?What can you do to help prepare your home and your family if an Earthquake were to strike? What basic items do you need in case of major damage? Did you know that it is no longer recommended to stand in a doorway? Near the bottom of this article are excellent tips, including some things you might not have thought about to also prepare for your pets during an earthquake or any other natural disaster evacuation.
Learn how to be prepared, you never know when, or where, an earthquake will strike! If you need an earthquake kit you can get supplies here also.
Three Tremors in One Day Was Scary
Earthquakes have varying intensities
Last year, a magnitude-3.1 quake hit at 3:24 PM followed by a magnitude-3.2 nine minutes later. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, these were about 2.8 miles from where I live, so basically I am sitting on the epicenter, on the San Andreas Fault! Then again at around 6:30 PM, another one hit, this one a 4.3 magnitude. Although it was reported these were minor quakes, I can guarantee you they didn't feel that way. The first one woke me from a dead sleep and scared me to death. The second one was like a sonic boom inside the house, and the third one was like a giant picked up my house and rattled the whole thing, at the same time banging on all the windows.
The last one scared me the most, and about an hour later I remembered I had written something about being prepared for an evacuation. So I went in and packed a bag. I also took 2 irreplaceable items from my grandmother and put these in the trunk of my car after backing it into the driveway for an easy exit if needed. For the next two hours, I followed everything that I knew to do including going to the ATM machine and getting some cash out and getting my dog's vaccination record. I wanted to be prepared if another one hit that night. We never know when they will hit.
Even though I had written about being prepared, I wasn't. I don't think any of us really are, but there are some things that we can do.
Earthquake Survival Kit
This is a perfect kit to stash in the house or garage. Even though it has what you need, you would still want to add your prescriptions, some cash, and those kinds of things. Always better to be safe than sorry, and the bucket can be used as a portable toilet if need be, which if you have kids you know there will be a need!
We never think of an emergency until it happens. This kit has the essentials you will need, and is easy to grab and go.
More Earthquakes in the same week in So Cal - Earthquakes in the Riverside County area of Southern California
The day after I published this,(a couple years ago), 3 more Earthquakes hit my area of Riverside County, California. A magnitude 2.8 earthquake rattled the Banning area. Then again at 3:25PM, there was another minor one with a magnitude 2.5. Both of these were considered minor, and I didn't feel them.
But then at 4 'clock in the morning the next day, I was again awakened by violent shaking and rattling windows. This one was a 4.3, the same intensity as the last one the other day.. Of course, I got out of bed after the shaking stopped and checked on my dog, who also was awakened. There was no damage, and this time I felt better because I had taken precautions.
I cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared -not like we are ever prepared for the "Big One" that California is waiting for, but it helps. It helps me!
Update: Yesterday we had a 5.1 quake in So. Cal. Yes, i felt it, but since I am prepared I wasn't that concerned. However, it is always scary when the chair you are sitting on starts moving, or you see things in your house moving or rattling. We will have a major quake at some point, and hopefully everyone that lives in California, and other earthquake prone areas take heed now.
Supplies for Preparing Your Home - Protecting your home for an Earthquake
Essential tool for shutting off the gas and water valves, plus you can use it to break glass if necessary. I got mine years ago when the Boy Scouts were selling them, and just hang it on the gas meter.
Use these to help prevent things from falling if the big one hits.
We used these to shore up an old secretary that has the original glass. Much better to have glass or heavy objects strapped.
Preparing Yourself and Your Home: Earthquake Safety Tips
Make your home as safe as possible without living in fear
There are some things you can do if you live in an area that has earthquakes, to mitigate damage to life or property. I used to have a beautiful antique mirror over my bed, one of those heavy gold ones. Big mistake. In an earthquake that mirror could fall on anyone sleeping and is definitely an earthquake safety hazard. So, I moved it.
Here are a few Tips anyone who lives in an Earthquake area can do to help mitigate damage that can occur in a strong earthquake.
1) Move heavy items from over your bed and the couch: heavy mirrors, shelves with breakables, etc.
2) Cupboards have a tendency to fly open: put latches on Kitchen cupboards and keep heavy items on lower shelves
3) Strap your water heater: double strapping is recommended and is also CA law
4) Strap appliances to the wall studs to prevent them from falling over.
5) Teach everyone where to shut off the power and the gas if necessary and buy one of those tools that easily shuts the gas off at the meter. Keep it hanging there so you don't have to go find it when you need it.
6) Program your cell phones with the word ICE which stands for In Case of Emergency. Have the kids program theirs also, to have the first person you want a First Responder to call.
7) If you have small kids, teach them the safest spots in the house and NOT to run outside.. Make a game of it. What if you were at school? What would you do? What if you were in the park-- what would you do, etc?
8) Have a fire extinguisher in your home, and make sure everyone knows how to use it.
9) It is recommended to have at least a gallon of water per person, per day (plan min. of 3 days) Potable (Drinking) Water is almost always one of the most needed items in a disaster.
10) Safety Drills: Stop, drop and roll for fire, duck and cover your head for an earthquake, get under a table, grab on and hold on, stay on the bed with a pillow over your head--these are just a few things to teach kids.
Don't be caught unprepared
Preparation Tips for Evacuating before you need to
Make A Checklist of IMPORTANT items you don't want to forget and put it in or by the backpack that you should always have ready, pre-packed with essentials. .We never know when disaster will strike, whether it's an earthquake, a flood, or a wildfire. Be prepared! A little preparation makes a big difference.
Designate one emergency meeting place outside the home and one outside the neighborhood where family members can all gather. Here are a list of things that an Evacuation Kit or Backpack for Emergencies like an Earthquake should contain.
Your Evacuation Bag should include:
1. Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you might take on a daily basis, for everyone including your pets.
2. Extra pair of Prescription or Reading Glasses
3. Copies of Important documents: tax records, bank accounts, school records,veterinary records, insurance policies, household inventory list (with photos if you have them) shot records, passports, Green Card or Permanent Alien Card, drivers license, social security card, etc
4. ATM cards and CASH: the electricity may be out or Banks closed or damaged. Checkbook, and CC's (at minimum a copy of a statement with your account number on it)
5. Combination flashlight, radio and cell phone charger, batteries
6. Extra chargers for phones and laptops.
7. Water: either enough to last you until you get to a Shelter, or a 3 -day supply.
8. Three-day supply of baby food (keep current as Baby grows)
9. Can opener; manual one
10. Change of clothing and shoes for each member of the family.
11. First Aid Kit
12. Baby favorite toy and Blankie
13. Copy of phone numbers in case cell phone service dies and you can't get to your contact list. Include your insurance agent's number, your vet, and another for a 24-hr. vet.
Note: These items should be packed in a Backpack, ready to go at a moment's notice. If you have time, grab your jewelry, photos, and other items you can safely get to in the time allocated.
We are not always at home when an emergency happens, so a small bag of essentials in the car is a good idea.
Earthquake Lessons for the Family - Learn what to do by watching this Animated Video
I remember the Sylmar, CA quake very well. It happened just as I was getting up in the morning to get ready for work. My whole room started shaking, and my son's crib was moving side to side. I thought for sure we had been bombed, because all I could see were fires and hear shattering noises. But it was just the damage from buildings falling and fires from ruptured gas lines. I was 19 years old, and didn't know what to do.
This is a cute Video that will reinforce the lessons on what to do and not do in case of an earthquake.
Disaster Preparedness Supplies - For any Natural Disaster including an Earthquake
I bought this after one of the earthquakes we had and keep it on my dresser, by the bed. No need to worry about batteries as it has a hand crank. Bright light, siren if you need it, and radio.
Remember your Pets
DO NOT WAIT to prepare for evacuating your animals, as time is of the essence in a mandatory evacuation and you may have very little warning before you must evacuate. Include these items in your Evacuation Kit.
* ID Collar
* Rabies Tag
* Pet Carrier or Cage
* Water/Food Bowls
* Number for Vet, and one for a 24 hr. Vet
* Newspaper and Plastic trash bags
* Favorite toy
Disaster Preparedness Supplies for Pets
Pet Owners feel their 4 legged furry is part of the family. Well, they have different needs in an earthquake, so make sure you have items they need, and don't forget to also have the number of a 24 hr. VET just in case and keep a list of their vaccinations too.
After an Earthquake BEWARE of Scammers
Do not become a victim of a Scam
I have seen them-- too many times the scam artists that come out after a Natural Disaster. They will call or use some other means of asking for a donation.
DO NOT donate to random people. Donate to a reputable Organization. Make sure that donations actually get to the people in need!
Important Earthquake Reminders
If you are inside when a quake hits: DO NOT run outside!
Get Real Time Earthquake Info for anywhere in the World right here! Click the link.
Earthquakes can happen anywhere - This one was recorded during regular taping of TV shows
Earthquakes can happen during business hours, and it's imperative you know what to do and where emergency exits are located.
Learn what the emergency plan is for your workplace, and make sure there are medical supplies on hand. If not, talk to Management about this.
One thing I noticed in this Video is the last set of people ran outside. DO NOT run outside during an Earthquake: stay inside, as there is more danger outside of falling buildings, power lines, etc. If you are outside, move away from buildings and power poles. If you are in your car, bring your car to a stop, but do not park under power poles, trees, or buildings. Then be careful as often times the streets and other infrastructure has been damaged.
7.2 Quake in Baja California on Easter Sunday April 4, 2010
Baja Quake felt by Millions
Many areas have EarthquakesA large 7.2 quake hit about 40 miles southeast of Mexicali, Mexico (on the California-Mexico border) around 3:40 PM in the afternoon. The quake was felt in several areas of Southern California, and many of the people have stated this quake reminded them of the Northridge quake. It was also felt in Arizona and Nevada, and caused a quake in Northern California and a smaller one in Malibu.
The Baja California Earthquake's aftershocks were felt in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Malibu, and other areas. Several people were interviewed at Disneyland and they stated they felt it and could see things shaking. All the rides were shut down and re-tested to make sure there was no damage or safety issues. This is the policy at Disneyland anytime a tremor is felt.
Dr. Lucy Jones from Cal Tech stated that for the past 15 years the area has been fairly quiet of quakes, but that it seems like things are changing. Aftershocks are to be expected for several days.
8.8 Earthquake in Chile on Feb. 27, 2010 - Tsunami Warnings and Alerts across the Pacific
An 8.8 earthquake in Chile on February 27, 2010 was very close to the epicenter of the devastating 1960 earthquake that caused a tsunami in Hawaii. This time, the warnings went out early, and Hawaiian residents were awakened by sirens going off and warnings that a tsunami would hit by 11:30am. Fortunately this didn't happen. Other areas, including the coastal areas of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska were given tsunami advisories and warned to stay away from the beaches.
We never know when one might hit our area. Hawaiian residents were rushing to the grocery stores, and lined up to get gas and cash. Just think how much more time they would have if they were prepared in advance!
Look at the picture, I went to the earthquake site and you can see how many earthquakes occurred in CA that day.
6.9 Earthquake April 13, 2010 in China
The southern Qinghai Province, China earthquake of April 13, 2010
The Qinghai Province, China earthquake hit shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 14, 2010 (their time) . Because of the early hour, 7:59 AM, many people were still at home, in mud and brick homes, where they died and their homes destroyed. Qinghai Province, where the quake hit, is a remote, poor area in northwestern China that "is considered a gateway to the Himalayas and Tibet", according to CNN. Qinghai Province has had several other large quakes on the Kunlun fault, which runs west-east approximately 300 km to the north of the April 13th quake which is the largest known quake in that area.
Some reports stated there were 600 to 1,000+ people killed ( and many more injured), but the count is unclear due to impeded rescue efforts. Jiegu, is the town closest to the epicenter and the damage was extensive. According to CNN "More than 85 percent of Jiegu's poorly constructed mud and brick houses collapsed". They were mostly homes for ethnic Tibetans.
This information was obtained from the US Government Earthquake site showing the distances of the Qinghai Province earthquake to other areas in China:
240 km (150 miles) NNW of Qamdo, Xizang (Tibet)
375 km (235 miles) SSE of Golmud, Qinghai, China
520 km (325 miles) SSE of Da Qaidam, Qinghai, China
1905 km (1190 miles) WSW of BEIJING, Beijing, China
9.0 Earthquake and Tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011
Damage from Japan spread to Hawaii and California
A devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011. It was the 4th largest earthquake, in the last 100 plus years, in the world! That's one strong earthquake! The Tsunami that occurred after the 9.0 earthquake not only caused horrific damage in Japan, but Hawaii and the whole western coast of the United States was put on either a Tsunami Alert or a Warning (warning being the worst). It's said this quake was 700 times more powerful than the one that Hit Haiti in 2010.
Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami not only was the largest in a century, but the impact is beyond imagination. Thousands have been killed,and millions were left without food, water, and power. To compound this they also had a partial meltdown at one of their reactors, and people are afraid of radiation leaks.
Japan has Five Nuclear Reactors and two power plants. One of them is in trouble because of the inability to cool themselves, and it was reported they had to release some of the nuclear steam. At this time it is unknown what (if any) consequences of that will occur..
The Tsunami destroyed what the earthquake didn't, tossing cars like toys, carrying buildings along with the water and debris. The country is overwhelmed by all the damage.
The Tsunami sent a 23 foot wave in Japan, and also caused destruction to several of the Hawaiian Islands and California. I live in California and evacuations along our coasts started about 4 o'clock in the morning. Northern California had a Tsunami warning, but Southern California only was put on alert. Crescent City up by the Oregon Coast was the one most people worried about as they were hit with a devastating Tsunami in 1964.
Living in an earthquake- prone area can be scary when the ground starts shaking. You never know if it is the "Big One" like in Japan or not. I know I had gotten lax, but after all the big earthquakes around the world, I am totally prepared. I hope you will all take the time to be also.
Earthquakes are scary and can be either just nerve-wracking or full-blown disasters. Please take some time and prepare your home and your family.