in Japan, New Zealand, Chile are a reminder for us in California and other states at risk for the “Big One”, that there are many decisions to be made very quickly in the first seconds of any disaster. Here are five tips that will improve your chances for survival.
– Every step you take you increase your odds of becoming injured by falling or flying debris. Glass imploding into a room is very dangerous for those still standing. The debris from collapsing buildings can fall one and one-half times the height of the building. Bricks become deadly at this point. Remember, you cannot out run an earthquake, and panic kills.
– Taking cover immediately under sturdy furniture is like putting on a hard hat. The protection is immediate. Dropping to the ground also keeps you low to the ground to avoid flying glass that has imploded into the room. Do not get into doorways. Not only are they dangerous because of violently swinging doors, but doorways are actually the weakest part of the structure. Doorways are created by removing the integral part of the walls framing.
– Don’t start yelling. Bad idea. All that yelling will cause you to choke and possibly suffocate on the debris dust, which is substantial following a collapse. This will also cause you to fatigue quickly at a time when you need to save your strength. Yelling will also cause you to dehydrate at a faster rate from the loss of moisture in your breath. Tapping 3 times periodically will save energy and can be detected by professional rescuers.
– Before you evacuate make sure to care for the injured you left behind. You should prioritize by stabilizing life threatening injuries only. It is easy to prioritize when you realize you can only die from one of three things. They are; Not
. If the victim is not breathing, you should perform a Head Tilt, Chin Lift maneuver and then place them in the Recovery Position, on their left side. Severe Bleeding can be controlled by applying a Pressure Bandage, and to manage Shock, simply raise their legs 6-12 inches.
– To avoid losing your home to fire and becoming the start of a major conflagration in your neighborhood, you must immediately extinguish all small fires and check on gas leaks. For fires store an ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher in your home. To check for gas leaks remember, just because you don’t smell gas, doesn’t mean you don’t have a gas leak in the walls or attic. So always check your gas meter to look for any of the dials turning on your gas meter. Store a gas shut off wrench at the meter for quick and immediate access.