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Center for Disease Control Supports Notion that Preparation Can Reduce Risks in Event of an Earthquake

Earthquake PreparednessWhat do you do when an earthquake occurs? What will your family do? If you don’t live in a traditionally at-risk area, should you even worry about such things? All of us are potential victims of an earthquake. Whether we live in earthquake-prone regions or ones that do not have a history of earthquakes, we all run the risk of finding ourselves in the midst of one of the rumbling and roaring natural disasters. According to the Center for Disease Control, reduction of the threat may come down to three steps; “The real key to surviving an earthquake and reducing your risk of injury lies in planning, preparing, and practicing what you and your family will do if it happens”.

One key element of the CDC’s survival tips is emergency preparation drills. Planning is of utmost imortance for preparedness in the event of an earthquake. Practice will prepare you and your family for how to deal with a natural disaster like an earthquake. “During an earthquake, most deaths and injuries are caused by collapsing building materials and heavy falling objects, such as bookcases, cabinets, and heating units. Learn the safe spots in each room of your home” (CDC). With your children it is important to have a high degree of repitition. Kids should always know what areas of a house or building to avoid, and how to situate and handle oneself in those areas if one does find oneself unavoidably trapped in a trouble spot. In addition to in-home tips, kids should also have as thorough an understanding of their school emergency procedures as possible “This will help you coordinate where, when, and how to reunite with your child after an earthquake” (CDC).

When a devastating enough earthquake occurs, an evacuation plan is a primary component of earthquake preparedness. “By planning and practicing for evacuation, you will be better prepared to respond appropriately and efficiently to signs of danger or to directions by civil authorities” (CDC). Evacuation routes should be discussed and plans and maps drawn up. Mark where emergency evacuation equipment, such as axes, ladders, and ropes may be found and explain their relevance to your families (CDC). Explanation and understanding of the hazards that surround you in a given building and environment is essential to earthquake preparation. The CDC’s website finishes off with a few more tips. Prioritizing steps and procedures in the case of any search and rescue situations is important so as to maximize time usage following and traumatic disaster such as an earthquake (CDC). It is highly suggested to write down important information including police and fire emergency numbers (CDC). All of these lessons point to one overriding fact; earthquake preparedness is a key to survival.

Along with any verbal preparation, earthquake preparedness takes a very tangible physical element as well. Natural disasters may put people in situations where they may lack contact with others for an unforeseeable amount of time. Stocks of earthquake supplies such as emergency food and water should be kept on hand in all buildings and vehicles. Emergency radios may be one’s only source of information should roads and other access routes be closed off. It is important to have an earthquake survival kit with these supplies. If you want to customize it specifically for an earthquake, add to it with an earthquake kit. These kits contain additional supplies you need to prepare your home for an earthquake.

By Casey Kozoll
QuakeKare Press
February 12th 2007

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