Earthquake is one of the major natural disasters. In every year it causes a huge loss of life and property all around the world. Proper strategies and awareness about disaster management is the need of the hour. This will protect us from the losses and help to cope up with this hazards. However, in order to reduce the destruction caused by these occurrences the disaster management committee has laid some safety measures. In this section, we will learn about some of these safety measures to be undertaken before, during and after the calamity.
Earthquake: A Natural Disaster
An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of Earth due to the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust, as a result, seismic waves are created. The seismic activities in an area determine the type and intensity of the earthquake. Some of the measures to be undertaken before and after the earthquake are given below.
Before the Earthquake:
- Wall hangings and plants must be placed far away from windows and plants must be hanged in lightweight pots with closed hooks, such that they are well secured to the studs.
- Connections of gas lines and appliances must be made flexible.
- Heavy and unstable appliances and items must be placed away from doors and exit routes.
- An earthquake readiness plan must be kept ready, including locating a shelter house, canned food and up to date first aid kit, gallons of water, dust masks, goggles, firefighting equipment, a torch and a working battery operated radio.
- Architects and structural engineers must be consulted before laying the foundation of buildings in earthquake-prone areas, also the building must be manufactured as per the rules and regulations laid by the disaster management committee.
- Members of the family must be trained to locate a spot in each room of the house where nothing is likely to fall in the case of calamity.
- In highly seismic areas, mud and timber are used instead of heavy construction material. The roofs are kept light; the shelves are fixed to the walls so that they do not fall easily.
- Awareness must be spread among friends and family members about the above-mentioned measures.
The previous steps focused on the preparedness for an earthquake. In the next section, we shall learn about the measures that can be undertaken during the calamity.
Do’s and Dont’s:
- One must stay indoors until the shaking stops and it’s officially announced that it is safe to exit.
- One must stay away from bookcases, furniture and heavy appliances that may fall.
- The shelter must be under a table or bed, and hold on to a post or any other fixture.
- If one is outdoors, the shelter must be taken in a clear stop away from buildings, trees, and power lines.
After the Earthquake:
The aftershocks of an earthquake may cause falling of structures and trees. Following are the measures that must be undertaken after the calamity is over.
- First aid kits must be used to tend to persons with minor injuries such as bleedings and bruises. Whereas seriously injured individuals must not be moved until they are out of danger and proper medical help has arrived.
- If the person is not breathing, rescue breathing must be administered. If the person has no pulse, CPR must be given.
- Tumbling shelves and falling items must be taken care of and damaged walls made of bricks must be avoided.
- Main gas valves must be checked for leaks. The main power switch must be turned off if there is a possibility of damage. Broken appliances must be unplugged until the damage is repaired.
- One must stay away from downed power lines and any object or appliance in contact with it.
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