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What You Need Before an Earthquake

Make a plan of what you need before an earthquake

The moment that the earth begins to shift beneath your feet is the time that you realize it’s too late to being to prepare for an earthquake in your home. The infrequency of major earthquakes in Canada means that the majority of people are unprepared for these life changing events, but scientific evidence shows that earthquake strength and frequency is on the rise all around the world. Now is the time to begin to learn what to do in the case of an earthquake at home and make a plan of action, as well as taking some preventative measures, such as installing seismic fasteners and gathering together an earthquake safety kit.

Preventative Earthquake Safety Rules for Single or Duplex Homes

Given that we spend most of our time in our own homes, it makes sense to know and share some basic earthquake safety rules for around the house. The rules are slightly different depending on how tall your home is. The following are some good earthquake safety rules to think about before an earthquake hits if you live in a single or duplex home up to three stories high: sense to know and share some basic earthquake safety rules for around the house. The rules are slightly different depending on how tall your home is. The following are some good earthquake safety rules to think about before an earthquake hits if you live in a single or duplex home up to three stories high:

  • Identify a safe place in every room – the key to staying safe in the case of an earthquake at home is to get close to the floor and get under something sturdy like a table or desk. Go through each room in your house, including the bathrooms, and talk with your family about where they would drop and cover in the case of an earthquake. It may seem silly, but it only takes a few minutes, and knowing this ahead of time can be vital during an actual quake.

  • Bolt free standing furniture to the wall – while most homes are not designed to specifically withstand the force of earthquake tremors, the low and sturdy design of family houses means that the walls are unlikely to collapse. The most damage actually comes from tall and heavy free standing furniture toppling over and either damaging other furniture and walls, or trapping and injuring the people in the home. Buying a set of flexible seismic fasteners for all of these objects in your home can dramatically reduce your risk of injury as well as helping the clean-up in the aftermath of the earthquake. Each of the Safe-T-Proof fasteners is designed to be strong but also easily removable to help with cleaning and room re-organization.

  • Secure cabinet doors – while less dangerous to personal safety, the damage and mess caused by objects flying out of cabinets, especially the fragile foodware in the kitchen, can take a long time to clean up. A set of Safe-T-Proof touch latches on the inside of every outward opening cabinet door will not only keep everything inside in the case of an earthquake, but also double up as a security device against babies and pets. The magnets are strong enough to hold during a 30 second tremor but require an adult’s understanding to open quickly and easily.

Preventative Earthquake Safety Tips for High Rise Buildings

Much of modern high rise building engineering research has been on how to keep these tall and thin structures standing when the ground underneath rocks and shakes. Lightweight pillars, swinging pendulum counterweights and wide based foundations have all dramatically increased survival rates for those living in high rise building in earthquake prone areas. However, there are still some essential earthquake safety tips for high rise buildings to follow:

  • Install emergency lighting – in a high rise building, the lighting is likely to go out as the building generators are typically stored in the basement. You can’t rely on your landlord to have installed emergency lighting throughout your home, so installing a series of Quake Escape lights in each room will give you the ability to see and assess the damage. They also act as a loud alarm to attract attention and wake you if it senses pre shake tremors.

  • Organize your furniture thoughtfully – in high rise buildings, the windows are the first things to crack and break, so make sure you’ve positioned furniture that you can hide under near the windows so you can drop and cover quickly.

  • Have emergency tools in place – unlike in a one or two family house, you don’t have access to the gas, water or electricity supply in your apartment. Having a 4 in 1 Emergency Tool will allow you to shut off the water at each faucet and tap the gas at your boiler, as well as providing you with a sharp, strong edge to clear debris and prise open blocked doors. Having multiples tools spread throughout your apartment will mean that you are prepared for dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake.

Your Earthquake Safety Kit

The final piece of earthquake preparation is to either buy or build up an earthquake safety kit. This should include everything that you will need in the case of being alone without power, food or water access for a day or two. Essential items to pack in your earthquake safety kit include:

  • First aid supplies such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, burn creams, gloves and sterile pads

  • A flashlight along with multiple spare batteries

  • A face mask or respirator in case of dust or pollution in a confined space

  • A whistle or other device that will make a loud noise to attract attention

  • A hand crank emergency radio and phone charger to keep you powered and connected even when your home wifi and electricity is knocked out

  • MREs or similar long lasting, high protein, high carb food that doesn’t require a heat source or refrigerator

  • An emergency tool as outlined above but stored in the safety kit.

You’ll need to make sure that this safety kit is stored somewhere easily accessible that won’t be blocked or trapped by doors or fallen furniture. Having it hung up on a wall in a commonly used room like the kitchen or lounge will allow you to access everything you need easily.

With all of these earthquake preventative measures, the important thing is to have them in place as soon as possible, as it’s impossible to know when the next earthquake is going to strike. Knowing what you need before an earthquake comes and having it in place are two separate ideas, so now is the best time to start preparing to save lives.

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