With over 27,000 earthquakes recorded in California since geology first recorded the state’s creation, it is not surprising that they have become part of the natural landscape. As more people move to the Golden State, it is likely that the number of damaging earthquakes will continue to rise.
If you live in an earthquake-prone area it may be worth giving some thought to how you protect your home and family from these potentially destructive tremors. If you are planning on living in a susceptible area there are several things you should consider when buying or building a new home.
What is an earthquake?
Earthquakes are simply the result of pressure being released beneath the earth’s surface. The energy from this pressure comes out as waves that we can feel as tremors. Earthquakes can cause tall buildings to sway, cause objects to fall off shelves, and generate tsunamis capable of flooding coastal areas.
If you experience an earthquake you should follow these simple steps: – Get under a table or inside a closed closet. – Don’t open doors during an earthquake. – Don’t step on cracks in the sidewalk. – If you are at home, stay indoors until the shaking stops. If you are in a car, stay inside the vehicle.
Why not use an elevator during an earthquake?
An elevator is usually located on a different floor than the one you are on. If the earthquake causes your elevator to fall, you are more likely to be seriously injured or killed. If the power goes out because of a quake, the elevator may be trapped between floors.
Even if you are on a floor that has power, the elevator may be lifted up and down due to strong winds or the movements of other elevators. If the earthquake causes your building to sway and the elevator’s cables snap, you could be trapped in the elevator mesh.
Consequences of a quake
The most obvious consequence of a damaging earthquake would be damage to your home. If you are unlucky enough to be in a building that collapses you are likely to die. This is unlikely to happen but it is important to know what to do if it does. If you are in a public place like a shopping mall, stadium, or school, you need to evacuate the building immediately. Go only as far away from the building as possible.
If there is traffic, consider walking in the middle of the street until you are out of harm’s way. If you are at home, seek shelter inside a concrete or metal building. Stay away from windows and outside walls as these will likely fall on you.
If you are in a home that collapses because of the quake, stay where you are until the shaking stops and the dust settles. Once the danger has passed, exit your building by the safest route possible and call your loved ones to inform them of your safety.
How to protect yourself in case of a quake
- If you live in a very high-risk area, you may want to consider purchasing a safety kit. This will include a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, a first aid kit, and other essentials.
- If you live in a building where an earthquake is most likely to occur, you may want if you want to install a home security system. These systems include a siren that will alert you that an earthquake has caused the building to sway.
- If you are in an area prone to frequent earthquakes, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive alarm system. These alarm systems will activate in the event of a large quake and will notify your loved ones that they need to get to safety.
- If you experience long-term damage to your home, you should consider relocating to a safer area.
The potential danger posed by earthquakes is a real threat to the people who live in areas where these powerful tremors occur. It is important to take steps to protect yourself and your family from damage caused by a damaging earthquake.
If you live in an area that is prone to frequent earthquakes you should consider installing an inexpensive alarm system. This will trigger an alert when a damaging quake occurs and will allow you to reach safety.
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