Monday, June 22, 2015

What to do and not to do during an Earthquake?

In today’s world of modern technology almost everything in first world countries is linked with highly efficient computer systems. Man has been consistently working towards developing methods and systems that allow him to exercise complete control over everything. However, there are certain phenomenons which are out of our control and we cannot have any impact on them no matter how advanced our technology gets. Natural catastrophes are one such example; they are controlled by nature and can occur anytime and anywhere. Although we don’t have any control over them but there are certain ways by which we can minimize the damage it may cause us. The most recent and one of the most devastating natural catastrophes the world has witnessed is the Nepal earthquake which has till date killed around 3800 people. This earthquake is being considered as one of the most devastating catastrophes to ever occur in history, and has left everyone wondering what they could do to save themselves and their family members from getting hurt if faced with a similar situation. Here are some steps that you need to keep in mind:

Dos and Don’ts during an Earthquake
  1. If you are trapped indoors and an earthquake strikes, it is advisable to immediately seek shelter under a sturdy table or any other piece of furniture that is strong. If there is no such furniture nearby then cover your face and head with your arms and crouch under a shelter or inside corner of a building.
  2. If you are in bed when the earthquake strikes, stay there unless you are under some fixture like lights that could fall, and cover your face with a pillow. Wait for the tremors to stop before moving.
  3. Stay away from glass, walls and any furniture that could fall as a result of the tremors.
  4. Take shelter under or near only those things that you are certain would not fall or break.
  5. Be careful that electricity may go out and usually all modes of communication are severed during such catastrophes.
  6. In case you are trapped outdoors, be sure not to move and remain stable at one place until the earthquake stops.
  7. Stay away from buildings, walls, doors, pillars and poles. Electric wiring and overhead cables are also to be avoided as they might fall and you may get electrocuted or trapped.
  8. If you are inside a moving vehicle, make sure you stop the vehicle as soon as possible and wait inside for the earthquake to halt.
  9. Once the earthquake stops, move the vehicle very carefully as often as a result of very strong tremors, roads break.
  10. In case of being trapped under debris, it is advised to cover your mouth with any cloth so as to prevent the intake of harmful dust through inhalation.
  11. In order to make emergency rescue workers notice you, tap a nearby pipe or if no other resource is available, shout out to them. But be mindful that you should not inhale too much dust during this.
  12. You should never light a match when trapped under debris. This is because during earthquakes there are often many gas and fuel leakages and you may not know what is near you and hence by lighting a match you might end up blowing the place up in flames.
  13. You should not attempt to move or pave your way out.

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