posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 10:38 PM
A couple of things to remember (from a veteran quake survivor...)
While it's happening...
1. DO NOT RUN OUTSIDE!
2. DO NOT RUN OUTSIDE!!
3. DO NOT RUN OUTSIDE!!!
Why not? Aren't you safer outside than in?
No, not really. You might not make it outside safely while the shaking is happening, and you really, really need to protect yourself from things
flying around. Having been thrown out of bed (twice) during EQs, it's incredibly difficult to keep your feet during one, let alone negotiating
between where you are and where the door to the outside is. As things can fall outside, they can fall inside, too...but you're far safer inside than
When you feel the shaking start, or hear the noise (similar to the train sound w/ tornados....), move to an interior door jamb. DO NOT go into a door
way with a door. I found that out the hard way...I had bruises that lasted for weeks because the door slammed on me many times. Pick the location
NOW before anything happens. Make sure it's clear of bookshelves, moveable cabinets, and whatnot, and stand with your backside against the side of
the door. Wrap your arms over your face and head, and, if the shaking is severe, crouch/sit in that doorway.
Once the shaking stops, sit in that doorway for about 3 minutes. It's hard, but people forget about aftershocks. In the '94 quake, we had an
aftershock about 30 seconds after the main shock, and it was nearly the same mag as the main shock. AFTERSHOCKS CAN KILL YOU. Stay put for a bit.
Once you're pretty sure that the shaking has stopped, CAREFULLY move to your emergency kit. Get shoes on your feet ASAP, get the flashlight on if it
happens when it's dark, and DON'T GO RUNNING ANYWHERE. Furniture can move great distances...things like the fridge will move (I found mine all the
way across the kitchen; it had broken the sink). Take your time, count heads, make sure all are accounted for, and then, as a group, move towards an
open area STILL INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. Take your time, and make sure you can easily access a door to the outside. If you can't, find a window you can
safely crawl out of; if need be, finish breaking the glass and clear out the debris (work gloves are a vital part of your emergency kit).
If you're at the office:
Get under a sturdy desk. Stay away from windows, glass interior doors, and again, wrap your arms over your face and head.
If you're driving:
DO NOT STOP UNDER A BRIDGE OR OVERPASS.
Drive your car carefully and safely (SLOWLY!!!!). Do not suddenly brake or turn. It will feel as if you've lost several of your tires. Drive
carefully and slowly. Go to an open area. DO NOT GET OUT of your car...you are safer there than outside.
If you are outside:
Do NOT run screaming into the street. There will be stupid people driving their cars screaming, and they won't see you. Don't lay in the middle of
the road. If there are building collapsing around you, crawl under a car parked outside. It will give you protection. Move away from windows,
glass, light/telephone poles, et cetera.
More in the next post...