We’ve had over 68 small earthquakes for the year and a seismologist at the UWI Seismic unit predicts that we may face a massive earthquake soon. Are you prepared?
Here are five steps to help you protect your home and family in the event of an earthquake:
- Assess your home for structural defects which may pose a risk to you and your family when an earthquake strikes. Common defects include: cracks in walls and ceilings, structures which are not anchored to their foundations or weak crawl space walls, unbraced pier-and-post foundations and unreinforced masonry walls and foundations.
- Pay attention to tall and heavy furniture and appliances which may topple over during an earthquake. Secure bookcases, refrigerators, water heaters and gas cylinders by bolting them to your wall or floor.
- Ensure that items that break or fall in are kept out of your family’s way. Secure items with nylon straps or closed hooks and move heavy mirrors and pictures away from seating and beds. Move large and heavy objects to lower shelves and store breakable items such as glass and china in cabinets with latched doors. Keep flammable and combustible products such as spray paints and gasoline away from heat producing appliances by locking them in a fireproof cabinet.
- Learn what to do during and after an earthquake. We’ve provided a list of references below for further reading. Get educated!
- Now that you know how to prepare for an earthquake, teach your family. Ensure that they know how to turn off gas, electricity and water and where to find emergency kits. Show them the places they should go and the places to avoid and have regular drills for them to learn how to react safely.