5 Ways to Prepare for an Earthquake

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by British Columbia
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Every year, Public Safety Canada encourages us to build awareness to ensure everyone is prepared for an emergency. While governments at all levels work hard to keep Canada safe, everyone has a role to play and these are a just a few first steps!

  1. Purchase enough emergency food and water for at least 3 days

You should have a gallon of water for each family member, plus a few more for emergencies. Make sure you bring a manual can opener to get into emergency rations as well. You can purchase any non-perishable food you prefer, such as:

  • Canned foods, like fruits, vegetables, beans, and tuna.
  • Processed crackers and salty snacks
  • Camping food
  1. Identify the best places to cover

Identify the best places for cover in your building. Under sturdy desks and tables and inside strong interior door frames are good places. If there is no other cover, lay on the floor next to an interior wall and protect your head and neck. Stay away from large furniture, mirrors, external walls and windows, kitchen cabinets, and anything heavy that isn’t bolted down.

Practice until it is second nature. Go over this plan on a regular basis as a family so you understand what to do and where to go once the earthquake hits.

  1. Learn basic first aid and CPR or make sure there is at least one person in the house knows it

There are resources in your community to educate you and your family on how to deal with first aid emergencies. Your local Red Cross has monthly classes as well that will teach you the basic skills to deal with most common injuries and situations.

If you cannot attend a class, purchase basic first aid books and put them with each stash of emergency supplies in the house. Also having a first aid kit helps.

  1. Decide on a rallying point for your family for after the earthquake

It should be away from buildings. Go over what your family should do in the event that not everyone makes it to the rallying point. If you have civil defense safety meeting points (as designated by your town), be sure that every member of the family knows the location of the one closest to home, school, and work.

Identify an out-of-area contact person, like an out-of-state aunt or uncle, that your family can call and get in touch with one another. If you can’t call each other for some reason, make sure you call them to help coordinate a meet-up. Use FRS and GMRS service (GMRS requires a license by FCC in US) to contact each other. Phone lines get congested in disaster. Some FRS and GMRS radio can send radio waves up to 40 miles!

  1. Learn how to turn off the utilities in your house, especially the gas line

A broken gas line leaks flammable gas into space, which can lead to a very dangerous explosion if untended. You should learn how to operate your utilities now so that, in the event you smell leaking gas, you can quickly stop the problem