An earthquake is a frightening and potentially deadly natural disaster that can put your family in severe danger. Most earthquakes occur along fault lines when the tectonic plates either slide against or into each other. An earthquake that occurs under the sea can cause a tsunami. If you live an earthquake prone area or along a fault line, it is a good idea to set up a drill system and practice it regularly with your family.
Step 1: Survival Kit
Prepare an earthquake survival kit. This kit should include at least 3 days worth of food, water and clothes as well as tools and shelter. Choose food items with long shelf lives such as canned food, nuts, protein bars and powdered milk. In terms of water allocate at least 1 gallon per person per day in your household. Tools should include a hammer, an axe and, if you are packing tinned food, a can opener. For your shelter items, try to pack a tent and some sleeping bags as these items will be required if your home is devastated.
Step 2: First Aid Kit
Put together a first aid kit and try to include a stock of any prescription medicines that are required by members of your family especially insulin, inhalers and glasses. If possible, try to ensure that every member of your family attends a first aid course so that they know how to best use the first aid kit.
Step 3: Contact Details
Prepare a list of emergency contact details. Although phone lines may be down, it is a good idea especially if you have young children and the worst happens so that they know who they can go to. Inform outside family or friends that they are your emergency contact for your children.
Step 4: Safe Places
Identify where the safe and dangerous places are and make sure that everyone knows about them. Safe places include doorways, desks and tables. Dangerous places include fireplaces or by mirrors, windows and hanging objects.
Step 5: Identify Exits and Exit Precautions
Identify safe exits and make sure they are always kept clear. You should also make sure that your family knows where to find the emergency kit. Do not put it somewhere obscure but be sure not to place it somewhere where it will be in the way. Try to make sure that everyone knows how to turn of the gas, electricity and water at the mains.
Step 6: Meeting Points
Establish a couple of meeting points should you become separated during an earthquake. It is important to have more than one meeting point in case the first one is unavailable. Try to ensure that everyone knows where these meeting places are and that they know in which order they are to be tried as well as knowing different routes to get there should the main routes become blocked.
Step 7: Drills
Carry out regular earthquake drills to ensure that everyone knows the procedure. These do not need to be done every week but once every few months should suffice.