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How to Survive an Earthquake

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1 How to Survive an Earthquake

2 Earthquakes are among the most destructive natural disasters.
They can happen just about anywhere. Earthquakes cannot be predicted. Your chances of survival are much better if you prepare in advance and you know what to do in case an earthquake strikes.

3 1. If you are in a vehicle

4 Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle
Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near, or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. These can fall onto your vehicle.

5 Stay seated where you are in your car, and wait until it is over.

6 Cars are made of metal and that metal will protect you and your family from most debris and falling objects. The only exception to this is when you are in a garage or multi-level parking lot. When you are in a garage, get out of the car immediately, and crouch down next to it. The metal will not protect you from the concrete that will fall on it. If you are in a multi-level parking garage, survival mainly comes down to luck. They best way to maximize your chances of survival would be to do what you do in a garage -- crouch next to the car.

7 Do not try to rush back to your home
Do not try to rush back to your home. Most major earthquakes have aftershocks, which should not be underestimated. Aftershocks have the power to bring down buildings that were damaged in the main quake. Aftershocks can range from very slight, to the power of the original earthquake itself. These secondary quakes can last for about 10 seconds or longer and can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing when they will happen, so there is no choice but to Stay Alert.

8 Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped
Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

9 Wait for government relief efforts
Wait for government relief efforts. You shouldn't have to wait in your car for very long for relief efforts to arrive with food, water, and supplies.

10 2. If you are in a building or indoors

11 Steady yourself. Hold onto a solid object or get to the floor so that you do not fall.

12 Drop, cover, and hold. This is the national standard for earthquake safety in the United States, and should be quite applicable in our country too.

13 It means that if you’re indoors, stay there
It means that if you’re indoors, stay there. Get under – and hold onto – a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. Stay clear of exterior walls, glass, heavy furniture, fireplaces and appliances. The kitchen is a particularly dangerous spot. If you’re in an office building, stay away from windows and outside walls and do not use the elevator. The alternate advice is to get next to a sturdy piece of furniture so that if a wall falls, it will create a crawl space in which you can survive. This “triangle of life” method, however, is inconsistent with earthquake research and not recommended by the American Red Cross, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California Response, and Earthquake Country Alliance.

14 If you are in a building that collapses while you are in it, you have to first make sure you and the people around you are alright.

15 Call out their names to get in contact with them, then find out which of them have injuries and how extensive they are. Minor injuries can wait, but major ones have to be given first aid. If you smell gas, whether it is natural gas, or the kind you put in your car, try to find the location of the leak using your hearing and sight. Talk to the people in your group to see which one is closest to the leak, and have them tell you how bad it is. Do the same with any fires or if you see or smell smoke. Do not approach any fires.

16 If you can see light, try to go towards it to get to the outside.
If there is any rubble standing vertically in some way that you think you'll need to move to get to the outside, test it first, to see if it's load-bearing. First, knock your knuckles against the object. If it doesn't move, push or gently nudge. If it doesn't move, It is probably load-bearing, and therefore you shouldn't mess with it. If it DOES move, however, it is safe to proceed.

17 When you get out of the building, help everyone else out as fast as possible, without injuring anybody any further. Count each person to see if everyone you were with inside has escaped with you. If not, DO NOT go back into the building to get them. An after-shock may occur at any time and trap you inside. It is better to wait for rescue teams to come and take care of any person still in the building. Once outside, go to a safe place away from tall buildings, trees, power lines, telephone poles, and semi truck trailers. In an aftershock a trailer such as one on the back of a semi truck could easily be tipped over onto anybody next to it.

18 It is better to find a place on the top of a hill or flat area.
If sinkholes are common in your location, watch for any signs of a sinkhole opening up around you. For emergency assistance, please call any of the following numbers: Emergency: 112 PNP: 117 BFP: MMDA: 136 NDRMMC: RED CROSS:

19 Protect your head and neck. Use your hands and arms
Protect your head and neck. Use your hands and arms. Cover your head with a t-shirt or bandana until all the debris and dust has settled, especially if you have any respiratory disease. Inhaled dirty air is not good for your lungs.

20 Do not move. If it is safe to do so, stay where you are for a minute or two, until you are sure the shaking has stopped.

21 Remember, aftershocks are possible at any time, and likely after a big earthquake.
Aftershocks can range from being felt by only a few people to knocking down entire cities. They can collapse weakened buildings, especially mobile homes.

22 Slowly evacuate the premises
Slowly evacuate the premises. See what is left, and meet your family at a prearranged open place away from buildings and power lines, such as a nearby park. Government help should be on the way soon.

23 Check for any fires. You should check your house or the building you are in for any fire or likelihood thereof.

24 Inspect your house for anything that might be in a dangerous condition
Inspect your house for anything that might be in a dangerous condition. Glass fragments, the smell of gas, or damaged electrical appliances are examples of hazards.

25 Glass fragments, the smell of gas, or damaged electrical appliances are examples of hazards.
Do not turn electrical devices on or off. Simply switching a light switch could create a spark, which in turn could electrocute you and/or start a fire. These fires can be more deadly because they are near electrical cords. Clean up dangerous spills. Gasoline could be fatal if it explodes or touches something flammable. If you only have paper towels, use several layers of them because gasoline is poisonous and is very hard to wash off. Covering gasoline spills with some shovelfuls of sand is a good idea, but remember to mark the area, by putting up even a handwritten sign that says 'Gasoline spill here' (tape it to a chair or even a nearby car, for example).

26 Stay away from damaged areas
Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away until a police officer, a plumber, a fire fighter, or relief worker inspects the area and pronounces it safe to enter. Do not drink water from the sink since it may not be pure. The sewage will be damaged in major earthquakes, so do not flush the toilet. Instead, shut off the water system from the main valve (have a plumber do this job for you if you don't know where the main valve is). Make sure that you plug up drains from sinks and bathtubs to prevent any sewage back-flow.

27 Inspect utilities. Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. Remember, if you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional, so only turn off the gas if you believe that gas lines are damaged or gas is leaking. Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.

28 Check for sewage and water lines damage
Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water from bottled water or by melting ice cubes.

29 Open your cabinets cautiously.

30 The items may fall on you if you open the doors quickly.
Inspect the damage, use caution with glass bottles, they may be cracked and leaking. Use extra caution with alcohol, acids, cleaners, or anything that is toxic to the human body. Containers may be leaking or tipped over.

31 3. If you are outdoors

32 Stay there. Observe your surroundings, especially if you are in an urban area. Keep in mind that earthquake-proof buildings have a chance of falling too, so don't assume you are completely safe. A sinkhole can appear in the ground due to the earthquake, so don't walk around too much.

33 Move away from buildings, street lights, power lines, and anything else that could fall. Also make sure you are not near an open fault. People have died after falling into large holes which suddenly appeared at the time of the earthquake. These can appear anywhere, including on roads or parks.

34 Seek shelter near a hill or somewhere where the debris is not going to fall down on you.

35 If you can, seek shelter in a place where you are protected from the weather, but make sure that the rock and soil does not land on you when aftershocks occur. Do not seek shelter under a bridge, even if you think it is a sturdy one. Some bridges can be earthquake-proof, but not completely safe as items, like signs or lights, can fall on to you.

36 Stay in your shelter, and do not move
Stay in your shelter, and do not move. The earthquake is spread across hundreds of square kilometers, so running around would be the worst thing to do while the earthquake is happening.

37 Observe buildings, power lines, or anything large or heavy, that can fall on you if you were near it.

38 Imagine how they could kill you if you stood near them
Imagine how they could kill you if you stood near them? Also as in during and after a typhoon, do not walk near power lines, fallen streetlamps, or building remnants. Glass looks smooth and still, but when broken apart, a small piece can damage your foot. This is why you should wear heavy shoes to protect your feet at such times.

39 Use caution when you decide to come out of your shelter
Use caution when you decide to come out of your shelter. It is likely that there are other people near to you or near to your area. Things like a cell phone are handy for everyone, because if one person is injured, another can call for an ambulance.

40 Wait a moment or two after the first quake, before moving to any other place. It is best to do this, because aftershocks right after an earthquake are usually the strongest. You can also go out, but take care that debris does not fall on you.


42 If you are trapped, try to alert authorities to your presence.
Sulphur dioxide (which normally smells like rotten eggs) carbon dioxide and other toxic and dangerous gases can be harmful to your body, yet may have no odor at all. A whistle or a horn can help people to find you, if you are trapped or if you are uncertain of your safety. Generally, earthquakes that have a magnitude of less than 6.0 should be non-life-threatening. Bracing yourself to a wall or heavy furniture when these weaker earthquakes strike usually works. Listen to the latest emergency information on a battery-operated radio. This is very useful if you need help.

43 Lend a hand. If you have survived a major earthquake, volunteer to do whatever you can to help find survivors, get families and pets re-united, and cleaned up after the disaster. Appoint a trusted relative out of the area as the point of contact in case of any major emergency. Remember that telephone lines are very likely to be tied up, so use the phone sparingly, especially during the first hour(s) after the quake. If you are at a school, listen to what your teachers say. Generally, you should duck and cover under a desk, and protect your head and upper body. Do some earthquake drills at your home with your family so that you are ready. Remember that the best place to take shelter would be void spaces, or near heavy furniture.

44 Help the injured, especially the young and the elderly
Help the injured, especially the young and the elderly. They need special care, and there is no exception to this. Dial emergency assistance for emergencies only. The authorities will know that there has been a major earthquake. If you can safely handle the situation yourself or wait for assistance, do so. The phone lines will most likely be tied up with calls from people who do need help. Do not panic. Earthquakes do not last for a long time, generally a few seconds to a minute. The 1989 San Francisco earthquake only lasted 15 seconds. Even though being in an earthquake for 15 seconds might seem an hour, it will eventually stop.

45 About Tsunamis If you hear of a tsunami warning, leave the beaches immediately. Thousands of people were drowned in the 2004 tsunami when people stared at the “empty ocean.” Moments later, a powerful tsunami hit the shoreline, drowning thousands and destroying many buildings, and millions more were displaced.


47 Never flee outside a building when an earthquake strikes
Never flee outside a building when an earthquake strikes. Many people who attempt to flee a building are injured or killed by glass, debris, falling, cladding, and collapsing buildings and/or walls. Wait until the shaking has stopped to evacuate the building carefully. Do not ignore warnings, even if they are false alarms. Assume that if a warning is issued, prepare immediately. Even though you may waste time in a false alarm, it would be 10 times worse if you didn't listen to it at all. Include suitable gear in your emergency kit for surviving the weather too. If a major earthquake strikes during bad weather, you will also have to keep warm. Likewise, you will need to wear things that will keep you cool in temperatures above 32°C (90°F).

48 Beware of other hazards triggered by earthquakes
Beware of other hazards triggered by earthquakes. Earthquakes can trigger landslides and can cause tsunamis if you live near the ocean or sea. Beware of damage to buildings, highways, and other structures. Also, beware of fires following earthquakes. During the typhoon season, volcanos can cause mud or lahar flows, which are extremely deadly. Being on the upper floor(s) of a building is more dangerous than being on the 1st floor. While you can get crushed by rubble from the upper floors if on the 1st floor, falling down onto the rubble is much worse. The basement isn't the best place to go either for the same reason, but the fact that you can get completely buried, especially if there is more than one sub-level.

49 Earthquakes do not happen only on fault lines
Earthquakes do not happen only on fault lines. In 1886, an earthquake shook Charleston, South Carolina on August 31 at 9:50 pm. The magnitude was 7.3, classified as major. The city was over 250 miles from the nearest earthquake fault.

50 Things You'll Need

51 REQUIRED: Water - 2 to 4 liters (2 quarts to 1 gallon) per person, per day. Food - canned or individually packaged. Consider infants, pets, and other special dietary requirements. First Aid Kit - ample and freshly stocked. Critical medication and eyeglasses, contact cases and supplies. Can opener. Radio - portable battery operated with spare batteries. Flashlight – with spare batteries and bulbs. Heavy shoes for every family member. Heavy gloves for every person cleaning debris. Sharp knife - or razor blades. Clothing - complete change kept dry, over and underclothes for both cold and hot weather.

52 Recommended Blankets Fire Extinguisher-dry chemical, type ABC Feminine supplies Infant supplies (for those with infants)

53 Supply Kit for Automobiles
Non-perishable food-store in coffee cans Boiled water First aid kit and manual Blanket Flashlight-spare fresh batteries and bulb Critical medication, extra eyeglasses Tools-screwdriver, pliers, wire, knife Short rubber hose Feminine supplies Sturdy shoes and gloves

54 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The foregoing PowerPoint presentation was put together from, and largely based on two sources: wikiHow -- How to Survive an Earthquake If you are in a VehiclelIf you are in a BuildinglIf you are Outdoors Edited by General Jackson, RMunsonNJ, VC, Hawkstar and 78 others And California Department of Conservation Be Prepared: Before, During and After an Earthquake

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