When you think about earthquakes, you probably associate this disaster mainly with California. The truth is, an earthquake can happen anywhere in the United States and Canada, and they can happen at any time. Are you and your family prepared? If not, you may want to familiarize yourself with these earthquake safety tips.
The best protection during an earthquake is to get under heavy furniture, such as a desk, table or bench. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Fatalities often happen when people run outside of buildings and get hit by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass and falling objects.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information to help you prepare for all types of disasters, including earthquakes.
Here are a few tips on what to do before an earthquake in Detroit occurs:
- Check your home for hazards:
- Fasten shelves securely to walls.
- Store large, heavy objects and breakable items on lower shelves.
- Hang pictures and mirrors away from areas where people sit and sleep.
- Check for defective electrical wiring and gas leaks since they are potential fire hazards.
- Identify safe places in each room that are away from where glass could shatter or heavy furniture might topple, such as under sturdy furniture or against an inside wall.
- Locate safe, open places outside that are away from falling debris and electrical lines.
- Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
- Portable battery-operated radio
- First-aid kit and essential medicines
- Emergency food and water
- Hand-operated can opener
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
- Develop an emergency communication plan. Designate a place to meet in case family members get separated. Ask an out-of-state relative to be your family contact, and make sure everyone has his or her phone number.
A little advance planning can help you and your family weather disasters of any kind more safely. And remember, earthquake damage is generally not covered by your homeowners insurance, so include your insurance agent in your planning.
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