Earthquakes can occur unexpectedly. Oftentimes, split-second decisions could make a difference between survival and death. When an earthquake strikes, keep in mind these three basic survival steps: Drop, Cover, and Hold On.
♦ Drop, Cover and Hold on
Official Rescue Teams worldwide attest that the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” response at the first jolt reduces the risk of injury and death. These are three simple steps that anyone can do in most earthquake scenarios:
Drop down on hands and knees. This help avoid potential injury from getting knocked down, yet allows you mobility to go to safer areas.
Cover your head and neck. Protect your head and neck with your arms and hands, pillows or any strong material.
Take immediate cover under a sturdy table or desk. If there is none nearby, stay beside an interior wall or next to a low heavy furniture for protection against crumbling walls. Keep as far away as possible from brick, stone, and exterior walls (as they are likely to collapse) and windows to avoid falling debris and splinters. If you are at home, the safest place may be bare hallways.
Hold on to your shelter. Stay under the shelter until the quake has stopped. If you must move, stay under safe cover all the time. Do not risk, even for a short time, going out unprotected.
There is however an exception to this safety rule. If you are inside a weak or unreinforced structure such as mud-brick or structurally deficient buildings, your chance of survival would be outside, not inside.
♦ Safety Outdoor Tips During an Earthquake
On the street
Stay clear of power lines. Keep your head protected from falling debris. Use your bag or any sturdy material you have for cover. Stay in open areas. Steer clear of trees, buildings or any structure.
Cut your speed and pull over to a safe area. Do not park directly outside a building or beside structures that may fall on your car. Turn the engine off. Stay in the car until the quake has stopped completely.
Japan has dealt with the most number of earthquakes compared to any other place in the world. We all could learn much from their regular seismic experience. Know more valuable safety tips from their Earthquake Survival Manual.
Natural disasters, like earthquakes, play no favorites when they strike. They follow their own natural course. Recent world events have seen calamities wreaking havoc on wealthy and poor countries alike. Watching the disasters unfold, one realizes that whoever or wherever you are, whatever kind of government you live under, you are left to your own means.– or at least at the very moment the disaster starts. Quick decisions are crucial and chances of survival are improved if you know basic safety tips.
On final note, the absence of mind in the presence of danger spells double disaster. Stay alert!.