EMAIL VERSION WITH PHOTOS AVAILABLE IF YOU EMAIL ME THANKS
*** Disaster Preparedness Safety Alert Bulletin ***
Earthquake Safety Awareness
With a recent 6.0 major earthquake this weekend centered in Napa California and other smaller quakes in August in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Tennessee and Oklahoma it is a good time for reminder of what to do during an earthquake.
Federal, state, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations all agree that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning, and they can occur at any time of the year, day or night. PROTECT YOURSELF. SPREAD THE WORD.
Official rescue teams who have been dispatched to the scene of earthquakes and other disasters around the world continue to advocate use of the internationally recognized "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protocol to protect lives during earthquakes:
DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
If you are unable to Drop, Cover, and Hold On: If you have difficulty getting safely to the floor on your own, get as low as possible, protect our head and neck, and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you.
In a wheelchair: Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.
In bed: If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.
In a high-rise: Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Avoid windows and other hazards. Do not use elevators. Do not be surprised if sprinkler systems or fire alarms activate.
In a store: When Shaking starts, Drop Cover and Hold On. A shopping cart or getting inside clothing racks can provide some protection. If you must move to get away from heavy items on high shelves, drop to the ground first and crawl only the shortest distance necessary. Whenever you enter any retail store, take a moment to look around: What is above and around you that could move or fall during an earthquake? Then use your best judgment to stay safe.
If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an earthquake hazard:
An earthquake of similar or lesser intensity that follows the main earthquake.
A sudden slipping or movement of a portion of the earth’s crust, accompanied and followed by a series of vibrations.
The place on the earth’s surface directly above the point on the fault where the earthquake rupture began. Once fault slippage begins, it expands along the fault during the earthquake and can extend hundreds of miles before stopping.
The fracture across which displacement has occurred during an earthquake. The slippage may range from less than an inch to more than 10 yards in a severe earthquake.
The amount of energy released during an earthquake, which is computed from the amplitude of the seismic waves. A magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale indicates an extremely strong earthquake. Each whole number on the scale represents an increase of about 30 times more energy released than the previous whole number represents. Therefore, an earthquake measuring 6.0 is about 30 times more powerful than one measuring 5.0.
Vibrations that travel outward from the earthquake fault at speeds of several miles per second. Although fault slippage directly under a structure can cause considerable damage, the vibrations of seismic waves cause most of the destruction during earthquakes.
These are general guidelines for most situations. Depending on where you are (in bed, driving, in a theater, etc.), you might take other actions, as described in Recommended Earthquake Safety Actions (PDF | RTF).
The main point is to not try to move but to immediately protect yourself as best as possible where you are. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl; you therefore will most likely be knocked to the ground where you happen to be. You will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be start of the big one. You should Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!
In addition, studies of injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes in the U.S. over the last several decades indicate that you are much more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects (TVs, lamps, glass, bookcases, etc.) than to die in a collapsed building. Drop, Cover, and Hold On offers the best overall level of protection in most situations.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. To be ready to protect yourself immediately when the ground begins to shake, practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On as children do in school at least once each year.
What NOT to do:
DO NOT get in a doorway!. In modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!
DO NOT run outside! Trying to run in an earthquake is dangerous, as the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by debris or glass. Running outside is especially dangerous, as glass, bricks, or other building components may be falling. You are much safer to stay inside and get under a table.
DO NOT believe the so-called "triangle of life"! In recent years, an e-mail has circulated which has recommends potentially life threatening actions , and the source has been discredited by leading experts..
Earthquake Safety Tips: How to Survive an Earthquake
A little knowledge and a few precautionary measures can enormously increase your chances of surviving an earthquake - or any other type of hazard. The keys are education and preparing in advance. The earthquake safety tips below will not make you an expert. However, they could make a life-saving difference if you find yourself in an earthquake situation.
Before the Earthquake:
During the Earthquake:
If trapped under debris
Create a Disaster-Preparedness Plan.
Will everyone in your household know how to react during and after strong earthquake shaking? To be ready for the quakes , it is important that your family have a disaster-preparedness plan. Hold occasional earthquake "drills" to practice your plan. Share your disaster plan with your neighbors and discuss key points with babysitters, house sitters, and house guests. Your plan should include most of the following
Plan NOW to be safe during an earthquake: In a strong earthquake, individual survival skills will be crucial.
Plan NOW to respond after an earthquake: Doing the following will enable you to help your family and others after a strong quake.
Plan NOW to communicate and recover after an earthquake: Don’t wait until the next earthquake to do the following.
Can you live without the services you rely on?
Maps of Earthquake hazard areas of New Mexico, Texas and US active faults.
Everyone in your family should have their own personal disaster kits. These kits are collections of supplies they may need when a quake strikes. Personalize these kits and keep them where they can easily be reached—at home, in the car, at work or school. A backpack or other small bag is best for these kits so that they can be easily carried in an evacuation. Include the following items:
Household Disaster Kit Electrical, water, transportation, and other vital systems can be disrupted for several days after a large earthquake. Emergency response agencies and hospitals will likely be overwhelmed and unable to provide you with immediate assistance. To help your family cope after a strong earthquake, store a household disaster kit in an easily accessible location, preferably outdoors (not in your garage). This kit, which complements your personal disaster kits, should be in a large watertight container that can be easily moved and should hold at least a 3- to 5-day supply of the following items:
NOTE: Replace perishable items like water, food, medications, and batteries on a yearly basis.
An Earthquake can strike anytime without notice. Always better to be prepared. Safety First, Safety Always!
Information and maps provided by the USGS, FEMA, Earthquake Country Alliances, Earthquake Monitor Assoc., DHS, NM Dept. of Public Safety, Texas Dept. of Public Safety, ARC, Curry County LEPC, Rocovers.org and Ready.gov