Earthquakes: How To Be Prepared And What You Need To Know
When we are jetting off to your next exciting destination, no one wants to think about the what if’s, but being prepared is not only smart, it can save your life. Since the Mexico City earthquake last week, we wanted to be sure that all the travellers out there know what to do in the event of an earthquake, especially for those who are planning to travel to earthquake-prone countries.
What To Do Before
Before even leaving home, you can be prepared! Be sure to give a detailed travel itinerary to your parents, or a few friends with contact details for each hostel or hotel you are staying in. Even if you’re itinerary is a bit more flexible, be sure to update them as you go.
What To Do During
There’s a lot of information online about what the best thing to do during an earthquake, and it can be quite confusing. Your main instinct can be to try and get outside, but this can be more harmful than good. Studies have shown that the most likely cause of injury during an earthquake is actually falling objects, rather than collapsing buildings. With that in mind, the best advice given by all earthquake preparedness experts is to drop, cover and and hold on.
DROP exactly where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from falling down by violent shaking, and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter, if possible.
COVER your head and neck with your arms:
- If a strong table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for safety
- If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to a sturdy wall (windows are likely to break)
- Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
HOLD ON until the shaking has finished:
- Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
- No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms to protect yourself
What To Do After
Be sure that the shaking has completely stopped before coming out of your recovery position. There is always the possibility of aftershock shakes, so be sure to wait a few minutes before leaving your safe place. If your building hasn’t sustained any damage, it is best to stay inside. But alternatively you should only take the stairs to get out of your building. Be cautious of lighting any cigarettes or matches, as there is always a danger of gas leaks.
Mexico City Earthquake
There are still plenty of people who need our help from the Mexico City earthquake. According to the Wall Street Journal the national death toll is 319, and rising. In Mexico City 40 buildings have collapsed while over 3,000 have been severely damaged sending 17,000 people to temporary shelters in the capital. In the nearby state of Morelos over 10,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged. Many of the people who lost their homes have no homeowners insurance.
We are asking for your help. Although a lot has already been done to support the immediate earthquake relief efforts, we know that many affected people require ongoing support to rebuild their homes and get back on their feet. Please visit our Go Fund Me Page, no amount is too small, and will go a long way to help those who are in need.