precautions during an earth quake.
Precautions to be Taken During an Earthquake
* If you are indoors during an earthquake, drop, cover, and hold on. Get under a desk, table or bench. Hold on to one of the legs and cover your eyes. If there's no table or desk nearby, sit down against an interior wall. An interior wall is less likely to collapse than a wall on the outside shell of the building.
* Pick a safe place where things will not fall on you, away from windows, bookcases, or tall, heavy furniture.
* It is dangerous to run outside when an earthquake happens because bricks, roofing, and other materials may fall from buildings during and immediately following earthquakes, injuring persons near the building.
* Wait in your safe place until the shaking stops, then check to see if you are hurt. You will be better able to help others if you take care of yourself first, then check the people around you.
* Move carefully and watch out for things that have fallen or broken, creating hazards. Be ready for additional earthquakes called "aftershocks."
* Be on the lookout for fires. Fire is the most common earthquake related hazard, due to broken gas lines, damaged electrical lines or appliances, and previously contained fires or sparks being released.
* If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use the stairs, not the elevator. Earthquakes can cause fire alarms and fire sprinklers to go off. You will not be certain whether there is a real threat of fire. As a precaution, use the stairs.
If you are outside in an earthquake, stay outside. Move away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines. Crouch down and cover your head. Many injuries occur within 10 feet of the entrance to buildings. Bricks, roofing, and other materials can fall from buildings, injuring persons nearby. Trees, streetlights, and power lines may also fall, causing damage or injury.
How to Protect Your Property
* Bolt bookcases, china cabinets, and other tall furniture to wall studs. Brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects. During an earthquake, these items can fall over, causing damage or injury.
Secure items that might fall (televisions, books, computers, etc.). Falling items can cause damage or injury.
Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. The contents of cabinets can shift during the shaking of an earthquake. Latches will prevent cabinets from flying open and contents from falling out.
Move large or heavy objects and fragile items (glass or china) to lower shelves. There will be less damage and less chance of injury if these items are on lower shelves.
* Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches. Latches will help keep contents of cabinets inside.
* Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches, on bottom shelves. Chemical products will be less likely to create hazardous situations from lower, confined locations.
* Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit. Earthquakes can knock things off walls, causing damage or injury.
* Brace overhead light fixtures. During earthquakes, overhead light fixtures are the most common items to fall, causing damage or injury.
* Strap the water heater to wall studs. The water heater may be your best source of drinkable water following an earthquake. Protect it from damage and leaks.
* Bolt down any gas appliances. After an earthquake, broken gas lines frequently create fire hazards.
* Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings will be less likely to break.
* Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects. Earthquakes can turn cracks into ruptures and make smaller problems bigger.
* Check to see if your house is bolted to its foundation. Homes bolted to their foundations are less likely to be severely damaged during earthquakes. Homes that are not bolted have been known to slide off their foundations, and many have been destroyed because they are uninhabitable.
* Consider having your building evaluated by a professional structural design engineer. Ask about home repair and strengthening tips for exterior features, such as porches, front and back decks, sliding glass doors, canopies, carports, and garage doors. Learn about additional ways you can protect your home. A Pr0fessional can give you advice on how to reduce potential damage.