How To Stay Safe After An Earthquake

Earthquakes leave us facing many hazards including gas leaks, collapsed buildings, damaged electrical systems, and water leaks. Read on to find out how to stay safe in the aftermath of an earthquake with the following guidelines. 

Take Higher Ground If A Tsunami Is Imminent

Earthquakes can sometimes cause tsunamis in areas along the coastline. This can occur from anywhere between a few minutes after the earthquake, or a few hours. If you notice any signs of a tsunami or there has been a tsunami warning, make your way inland to higher ground immediately. 

Always Use A Flashlight Rather Than A Candle

It is always preferable to use flashlights over candles. However, if you do not have any other option, make sure the candles are not within close contact with anything flammable and never have them out of sight.

Take Care Around Damaged Buildings And Check Your Home For Damage

Check your home for cracks or breaks in the walls, ceilings, staircases, and flooring. Any kind of structural or foundation building damage brings a health and safety risk. If the damage is significant, you may need to take shelter in a safer building. You should also check the electric and gas systems for broken wires or leaks. The best thing to do is switch off the main valve. 

Also, do not enter other damaged buildings without the guidance of local authorities. 

Treat Your Injuries 

Do not push open wounds to the back of your mind. The risk of infection is increased after an earthquake due to the amount of dirt and dust lingering. Get first aid help as quickly as you can, or clean and treat your wounds yourself. 

Be Prepared For Aftershocks

Unfortunately, larger earthquakes often lead to a series of smaller earthquakes called aftershocks. The recommended process for protecting yourself during aftershocks is as follows; drop, cover, hold on. 

Aftershocks can happen even months after the original earthquake. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, it is a good idea to pre-prepare your home, for example with a seismic retrofit. 

Get Attention If You Get Trapped

If you become trapped by rubble from the earthquake, it is a priority to make yourself known to someone. Use any method that you can. 

If you have a phone, try to call or text. If not, the next best thing is to make noise – whistle, bang on pipes, shout, hit objects together. Make sure you protect your eyes, mouth, and nose from the dust.  

Avoid Power Lines

Watch out for power lines or wires that may be hanging overhead. Stay clear of them and call an electrical company to inform them of the problem. 

Take Precautions Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If your gas and electricity have been damaged by the earthquake, never use any portable gasoline equipment inside of your home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and cannot be visibly seen, however, it is extremely dangerous and can cause sudden illness and even death. Always make sure you are outdoors when using this equipment. 

Stay Informed And Take Care Of Your Mental Health

Keep yourself informed on the most updated emergency information and instructions. Educate yourself on how to make your home more stable in order to cope with future earthquakes. Many homeowners in earthquake-prone areas opt for installing an earthquake brace bolt.

Lastly, connect with the people close to you and help support each other through the process. It is important to recognize when yourself, or someone else, is in need of professional help. 

Find out more about foundation repairs in Los Angeles by contacting Seismic Safety at 626-791-2300.