If you happen to live in an area that is prone to earthquakes you would be wise to keep on hand items such as a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a pack of clothes and food you can grab when you rush out. However, you may not be at home when an earthquake strikes so even being prepared is not of much help.
When an earthquake strikes keep calm. Do not panic and rush about blindly. Follow these points.
- Keep away from windows and doors.
- Stand close to a wall near the center of the building or hide under a bed or table.
- Most people are too afraid to this, especially if they live in multi-storeyed apartments where slightest movements are magnified and those living on top floors feel as if the entire is rocking to and fro like a pendulum.
- In this case maintain your head and call for all family members to assemble and walk out, locking the door to your apartment securely. Make sure you switch off electricity and gas connections before you leave. Grab a torch, some clothes, stuff to eat or whatever you can lay your hands on.
- Take the stairs and not the lift because a lift can jam or power can fail.
- Move out into the open, away from power lines and buildings.
- If you are driving in a car and if an earthquake strikes, navigate to an open space, stop and stay inside.
An earthquake is over in a matter of seconds. After that pandemonium can prevail. In such cases you can try to be of help to people who may be trapped in fallen buildings. The first severe earthquake may be followed by aftershocks so wait a while before you return home.