Earthquake Guide: Things to Do Before, During and After

Earthquakes are becoming more common nowadays and it happens without warnings. This may be seen as an impact of harmful human activities. Its impact cannot be foreseen easily because of different factors like the earthquake tolerance of the building, the response of people with the calamity, and the secondary calamities that may happen after an earthquake. However, to mitigate the effects of the natural calamity, there are precautionary things to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Other than the basic of doing duck, cover and hold, there are other essentials to know for additional protection of yourself and the people around the area of the earthquake. The prepared may always have an advantage in decision making especially in crucial situations wherein you need to be alert and rational as every action is crucial and may affect the life of others. Here are the things to do before, during, and after an earthquake.

The Basic Precautionary Measures to Do During an Earthquake

“Duck, cover, and hold” is the basic drill taught in schools and workplaces to provide protection to people especially during a strong earthquake. This is the basic way to survive and protect yourself from severe injuries caused by the earthquake. If you are in the road in your vehicle, you might want to pull over when you know an earthquake is happening. After an earthquake happens, it is expected that people must be aware of aftershocks and other dangerous calamities associated with the earthquake like tsunamis and landslides.

But these basic things to do cannot be easily remembered or done naturally especially when panic happens. With this, there are other preparations which will make a person readier from the impacts of an earthquake and the other hazards that it may cause.

Things to Do Before an Earthquake

For this stage, this will include the preparations to ensure the readiness of a person for the calamity and mitigate the impacts of earthquake. Here are the things to do before an earthquake.

  • Any establishment must have an earthquake and evacuation plan.
  • Earthquake and evacuation plans should always be reviewed and improved to mitigate the effects.
  • Regular practice and simulation of earthquake plans especially the basic which is duck, cover and hold.
  • Emergency kits, which includes foods and medicines, must be prepared at all times because earthquakes happen unpredictably. The kit must be good for at least three days to make yourself or your family self-sufficient especially in times that you are trapped and still waiting for rescue
  • Avoid designing an establishment which worsens the effects of an earthquake like too much hanging objects or anything with great weight.
  • If necessary, learn first aid. This is not only for yourself but for the people who needs immediate help from the aftermaths of an earthquake.

Things to Do During an Earthquake

After doing of the things needed to be done before an earthquake, it will test the effectiveness of your preparation and drills you have done repeatedly. As an earthquake happens, here are things you should do.

  • Stay inside the establishment and do the duck, cover, and hold,
    • Duck means to drop yourself to the ground before the calamity causes you to fall
    • Cover means taking cover on sturdy furniture like under the table to protect your head and body from the falling objects
    • Hold means holding the object you are using for cover for greater stability
  • If you are unable to reach a sturdy furniture, you may flatter yourself against an interior wall or crouch against it.
  • Stay away from hanging objects, windows and heavy things inside the establishment.
  • If an earthquake happens and you are outside, stay away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlight. Going to an open area is ideal and provides more protection because of less chance that falling objects or buildings may affect you.
  • If you are in a vehicle, stop the card and avoid bridges or an infrastructure that might collapse. Staying in your seatbelt and inside your car are strictly advised.
  • If you are on near mountains or any land formation, be alert of landslides and rockslides.
  • If you are near a coastline and the earthquake is lasting for more then 20 seconds, there is a high chance of tsunami. It is strictly advised to move to a higher ground in this case.
  • The most important thing to do is avoid panicking and staying calm to act appropriately and prevent the dangers brought by the calamity.

Things to Do After an Earthquake

                After an earthquake, an aftershock or another hazard are expected to happen. With this, we must be prepared and ready to evacuate as soon as possible. Here are the things to do after an earthquake.

  • Watch out for aftershocks, tsunamis, landslides and other hazards.
  • Duck, cover, and hold each time you feel an aftershock.
  • Check for building or house damages as these damages may become a hazard. If it is preventable like small fires, then do a way to mitigate its negative impact.
  • Tune in for the latest updates regarding the earthquake that happened to know the action you should take for the next minutes or hours.
  • Stay outside the establishments, especially damaged buildings, and bring with you the emergency kit you prepared before the earthquake happened.
  • Check for injured persons and report immediately to the proper authority or rescue them if you are knowledgeable with first aid.

What Should You Not Do During An Earthquake

  • Using matches, lighter or other fire generating device unless you are sure that leaks are not present.
  • Running during the occurrence of the earthquake
  • Staying inside the establishment even after the earthquake
  • Posting in social media instead of evacuating immediately
  • Panicking or causing panic that may lead to stampede
  • Staying near hazards like falling or heavy objects
  • Trying to save your things instead of thinking about saving your life

The Most Important Attitude During Calamities: Stay Calm and Do Not Panic

This may be the most overrated advice for everyone during calamities. How can you calm down when there is danger around you right? You just want to save yourself from the danger because you fear that your life will be put to danger. We always wish our safety especially for our family or if we are the breadwinner. We always work hard and care for ourselves do our endeavors as much as we want. We always dream of having a house and lot or any real estate like condominium so our family would not have to suffer from the huge rent prices. With this we must stay calm and remember all thing things we do before an earthquake.

Staying calm prevents the worse effects of an earthquake like stampede. Imagine an earthquake that has a low magnitude but people were injured because of stampede. Seems awful, right? This emphasizes the importance of being calm. If you are calm, you will have a sound mind to rationalize and apply the best survival methods you learned as you prepare for potential calamities. Despite the numerous and repetitive trainings, people still do not act accordingly. With this, it is important to stay calm to be rational, creative and increase our chances of survival on the intensity of the earthquake.