A natural calamity like an earthquake never comes with prior intimation, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to not be prepared for it. In an earthquake, when the land is falling apart, it is impossible to think straight forget nudging the rescue techniques. Everybody is bound to panic, but if you use presence of mind, there are chances you will be able to survive any disaster. If you choose to be ignorant, you are bound to suffer terribly during the actual circumstance. So here is a detailed guideline on what to do during an earthquake to win the battle against it:
1. Accept the misfortune:
First things first, run to an open ground or places a little far away from buildings to safeguard yourself and those around you. The basic and the most competent key to surviving an earthquake is calmness. Acknowledge the fact that it is a natural upheaval and is under no one’s control, but the reaction to the upheaval is definitely under your control. The more quickly you embrace this; you will be level-headed to execute further steps.
2. Act as per place:
It is not necessary that you will be at home during the earthquake. The first response to an earthquake is highly dependent on the place you are located at.
a) If at home:
- Immediately drop yourself to the ground and take cover under a sturdy table or furniture. If there is no furniture near you, cover yourself with your hands on your head and sit in a crouched position to avoid any heavy object falling on your head.
- Make sure to not locate yourself near windows, doors or hanging fixtures as they ought to fall off.
- If you are in bed, stay here and cover your head with a pillow.
- Try your best not to leave your present location as most of the injuries occur during movement.
- Do not use elevators under any circumstance.
b) If you are outdoors:
- The golden rule is to stay where you are until the shaking stops, especially if you are in an open area that has no constructed buildings around.
- Stay away from building exteriors, lamps posts, etc.
c) If you are moving/ in a car:
- This situation is highly possible as the modern lifestyle has compelled individuals to spend half their time in travel.
- If you are already driving, drive as fast as you can but keeping a sharp eye on the roads ahead to watch and hedge broken bridges. Drive to a nearby open space or ground which is not surrounded by buildings.
- If your car is stagnant, get out from the car and run to the vicinity where you can see no threats of anything falling on you.
d) If you are trapped:
- Sometimes, despite all the requisites, an earthquake might still manage to gulp you down.
- In such a scenario, do not light a match to try to kick up the dust. By doing this, you are only digging a deeper grave for yourself. Try to cover your mouth with a handkerchief or your hand to avoid the dust getting in to your mouth.
- Wait patiently till you hear help and whistle if you can.
- Keep shouting for aid only as the last resort as this increases the chances for you to inhale a dangerous amount of dust.
3. Post-earthquake measures:
- Move from a safe area only if you are assured that the tremors have stopped. As the cell phones and other lines would cease to work, try connecting to radio for quick updates.
- If you live near the coast, your area is also prone to tsunamis post-earthquake. So try to relocate yourself and the ones with you to a high-lying area.
- Do not attempt to clean up any debris or try to offer rigorous help to anyone stuck inside too deep until you have professional rescuers around you.