Earthquakes are natural calamities which can occur at any time. It is important for people to have know-how of safety measures to be taken during an earthquake. The mild tremors may not be a cause for worry but one needs to have a action plan ready in case of more severe earthquakes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has formulated a set of directions that one needs to keep in mind during an earthquake. They include “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” One can drop down to the ground, taking cover under a heavy table and Hold on till the earthquake stops. These safety measures can largely reduce injury and even death during an earthquake.
If you are indoors during an earthquake stay calm and remain indoors instead of panicking and rushing outside. You could take various measures to protect yourself. In case you are near the furniture it helps to take cover under a heavy table or desk. If you are in a building stand in the centre preferably against a wall. It is best to keep away from outside doors and windows and don’t try using elevators which might get stuck halfway. Gas lines may have been disrupted during the earthquake so take care not to use any inflammable articles.
If you happen to be outside during an earthquake try to take appropriate measures calmly instead of making a hasty retreat to unsafe interiors. In fact move away from the nearby buildings to avoid anything falling on you. Run to open spaces avoiding power lines or any structure that might crumble and fall. Remember that most causality occurs from collapsing buildings, broken glass and flying objects. If you are inside a vehicle, it is best to stop it and stay inside till the earthquake subsides.
In the event of getting trapped under debris during an earthquake don’t panic by moving about and kicking the debris. Instead cover your mouth with a piece of clothing to avoid getting suffocated by the dust. Do not try to light a match or any inflammable article to avoid starting a fire where gas lines may be broken. Try to gain the attention of the rescuers by tapping on a nearby wall or pipe instead of shouting which may cause you to inhale dust.
The rumbling may have stopped but take measures to avoid any injury that may take place by the earthquake. Check the walls and roof of your dwelling and avoid being near any damaged walls which may come crashing down with a touch. Take care while opening closets and cabinets to avoid things falling on you. In case of any leakage of gas shut off the main valves and also shut of the main power line if you sense some damage to the electrical fittings. Avoid driving on roads and bridges until they have been testified to be safe. Listen to public announcements about safety measures and instructions and news about the occurrence of any aftershocks of an earthquake which may be equally damaging.