Earthquakes are one of the most destructive natural disasters that can severely affect your home. Find out what steps to take during an earthquake to keep your loved ones safe.
August 31 saw one of the biggest recorded earthquakes in the history of the Philippines. At a magnitude of 7.6, the earthquake that affected mostly the Visayan region is said to have been the strongest in more than 20 years. Although casualties and damage were minimal at best, it still brings to light the question of how prepared families are in the event of an earthquake.
In a previous article, we shared some information on how to make your home earthquake-proof. This time, we’d like to offer guidelines on what to do during an earthquake while you’re in the house.
1. Drop close to the ground, go under a table or any other strong piece of furniture and hold on to it until the tremors subside. You can also take cover by staying under a doorway if there are no tables nearby, but be sure that it’s a load-bearing kind.
2. If you’re in bed when the earthquake happens, stay in it and keep your head covered with a pillow for protection. If there is an unstable light fixture above the bed, get out of it and move to an area that’s clear of any hanging objects.
3. Move away from windows and doors that can swing open and close to prevent getting injured. Likewise, stay away from anything that can fall on you that have not been secured earlier, such as bookcases, breakables and hanging light fixtures.
4. Don’t leave the house until the shaking stops. Many studies have found that a lot of earthquake-related injuries take place when people try to get out of their homes or buildings while tremors are still occurring.
5. If you live in a condo or an apartment, avoid using the elevators to try and evacuate the building; you’ll risk getting trapped if the power goes out.
6. If you’re already outside your home, stay away from buildings, trees, electrical posts and other similar structures that can fall if the shaking is strong.
During an earthquake, don’t hesitate to leave your home behind to get to a much safer place. Remember, personal belongings can be replaced, so be sure to focus on getting your family out of harm’s way.
Jillian Cariola, Writer