If you’re from the East Coast — or, really, most of the United States — earthquake preparedness isn’t something that’s usually in your vocabulary. There are hurricanes and maybe tornadoes and snowpocalypses, but you can pretty much rely on the fact that the ground is never going to move beneath your feet. Unfortunately, this isn’t true for the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast on a whole — or even for many other parts of the world.
On August 25th, 247 people were killed when an earthquake struck central Italy.
CNN published a full report, as well as staggering before and after photos. Our hearts and prayers (if that’s your thing) go out to the people and all of their loved ones who were impacted by this terrible tragedy.
In addition to 247 reported dead, and additional 1,000 people were displaced by the natural disaster.
While we don’t want to detract from this particular tragedy, we want to note that people were still being rescued alive, even two days after the earthquake hit. There are ways you can prepare for earthquakes that might save your life and keep you safe while rescuers get to you, which sometimes can be days.
One of the easiest ways to prepare in the event of an earthquake is to have an earthquake kit on hand where you live and where you work.
In places that frequently experience earthquakes, it’s not uncommon for your workplace or school to have supplies in event of an earthquake anyway, but it can’t hurt for you personally to be prepared.
Personally, we really like the Jetpack Bag, and not just because the name is amazing.
The Jetback Bag houses everything you might need in case of emergency. And since the chances are alarmingly high that North America will experience “the big one” within the next fifty years, it’s not for nothing. The Jetpack Bag comes in solo and dual forms, one obviously being for two people, the other for one. Both are packed to the gills with crucial survival equipment. You can find the full list on their website.
If you don’t want to buy a pre-made earthquake preparedness kit, you can use the list to guide your own homemade version.
If you know an earthquake is coming, or are safe to move around your home following an earthquake, you should turn off the water, gas, and electricity if possible.
Learn how to do this beforehand, in case any power lines are down or pipes rupture, creating a potentially dangerous situation like a gas leak.
In event of an earthquake, the most important thing is to stay calm, and follow these three, simple steps!
One of the most important things to keep in mind, is that the more you move, the more you increase your chances of getting injured.
After an earthquake passes, however, the danger isn’t past. You have to be mindful of potential aftershocks which can be just as strong, or, depending on where you live, resultant tsunamis. Check yourself and others for injuries, and stay in a safe, indoor environment until officials tell you it’s safe to leave.