After seeing the damage that a 7.1 earthquake created in Mexico this Tuesday, it reminds everyone, especially California residents, to be prepared for when an earthquake hits. California, more specifically Southern California, is at risk for a high magnitude earthquake. Below are tips and resources that could potentially save your or a loved ones life when the big one hits.
1. GET EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE. According to Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, "Southern California is 150 years overdue for a major earthquake," meaning this is not a matter of 'if', but 'when' an earthquake occurs in California, residents need to be as prepared as possible. Compare the cost of month insurance payments and the cost of rebuilding your home when resources are scarce.
2. Prepare your home. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) its important to note the weak spots in your home. Bolt down any big furniture, such as cabinets, bookshelves, TV's, that can fall and potentially hurt someone. Attach child safety locks on cabinets that hold glass. When an earthquake strikes anything in a cabinet can fall out making it dangerous to walk through.
3. Prepare a 3 day Survival Kit. A majority of gas and water pipes run under roadways, so when an earthquake occurs there is a great risk of roads falling onto pipelines. Southern California residents run the risk of being without power, water, or gas for approximately weeks. Prepare an earthquake survival kit with a gallon of water PER family member, hygiene products, batteries, flash lights, any required medications, two way radios, etc for you and/or family members. Keep this kit in a duffel bag or plastic container away from falling objects.
4. Keep close-toed shoes by your bed. Do you sleep barefoot? Imagine your picture frames, furniture, and ceiling collapsing on your bedroom floor and you having to walk through that barefoot. Painful right? Keep shoes by your bed so if an earthquake occurs when you're in bed, use your pillow to cover your head and neck. After the earthquake is finished grab them and protect your feet from the damage.
5. "Duck, Cover, and Hold On" If you're indoors while an earthquake happens, Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones says, "Even the cheapest of tables can protect you from falling debris."Doorways are not a safe place for earthquakes, so find the nearest desk, get under it, and cover your head and neck with your hands.
For any more information regarding earthquake safety please visit the American Red Cross.