Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. Families may not be together and you may not have access to cell phones, gas stations, grocery stores or some of the other things that you are used to having every day. By taking a few simple steps now, each of us can make sure we are better prepared for the next emergency or disaster.
Every area and every disaster is different.
Most earthquake-related deaths and injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass and falling objects. One vital preparation can make a big difference: Have your home checked to make sure it meets the seismic code and is tied to its foundation. With the house properly tied together, the load can be redistributed, the house shouldn’t slide off its foundation, and it should be able to handle a quake’s rocking and sliding actions.
Beyond that, secure fuel tanks, water heaters and shelving. There are instructions online, but since these affect the structure of your home, they should probably be performed by licensed professional contractors.
If a quake does strike:
• Stay away from glass, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall; drop to the ground; hide under sturdy furniture; and hold on.
• Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go out.
• If you are trapped under debris, don’t yell so you won’t breathe in dirty air. Tap on a pipe to let others know where you are. Don’t light matches in case there are gas leaks.
• When you are out of your home, stay informed about the damage and assistance available.
• Avoid turning on the power if there is flooding from broken pipes.
• If your home has been damaged, consider getting a professional to conduct a thorough inspection to make sure it is safe to enter.
You can be hundreds of miles from the coastline and still feel the effects of a hurricane. The winds are destructive, turning debris into deadly projectiles. But the dome of water known as the storm surge and flooding bring much of the destruction.
Here are some tips:
• Anchor things down. Bring in any outside items that could become airborne.
• Bolt doors at the foot and head using bolts with at least a 1-inch throw length. Have professionals reinforce the garage door and tracks with center support, and brace gable end walls with horizontal and/or diagonal braces.
• Cover large windows, doors, and patio doors with securely fastened, tested, and approved impact-resistant shutters. If you remodel, consider impact-resistant window and door systems.
• Trim trees and shrubs so they won’t break and smash into your home.
• Consider building a safe room.
• Turn off propane tanks.
• Have a roof covering rated for hurricane-force winds. Fasten rafters and trusses to walls with hurricane straps and clips.
• Disconnect appliances and equipment. Leave on one light to indicate when power is restored.
• Consider having licensed contractors inspect your home and help in repairs.
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season is likely to be much more active than the 2015 Hurricane season. In fact, this season could be the most active hurricane season since 2012. We have already seen 11 named tropical storms and hurricanes and many more expected. In April of this year, Ecuador experienced a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that left 671 people dead. There have been 981 significant earthquakes around the world and a major one in the United States in January (thankfully, there were no fatalities).
Would you be prepared for a hurricane or earthquake? At Game Plan Preppers, we can help you develop a plan and provide you with items you will need to keep you and your loved ones safe and protected. For more information, contact us! Your safety is our number one priority!
In our third part of Preparing for Disasters series, we will cover how to prepare for a tornado or winter storm.