Wednesday, October 4, 2023

What to do during an earthquake? (Indoor & Outdoor)

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In this article, we will discuss what to do during an earthquake.

Every year, thousands of people die or suffer a serious injury during an earthquake.

In many cases, various casualties occur due to the lack of knowledge regarding what must be considered during an earthquake.

For example, many still believe running outside the building during the shake is safer.

Hence, adequate guidelines regarding safer practices during an earthquake must be drafted and duly delivered to the people.



  1. What to do during an earthquake?  

Some of the things that must be considered during an earthquake can be summarized as follows:


  A. When one is indoors during an earthquake:  

The following things must be done if a person is indoors during an earthquake:

a. The person must drop to the ground first.

Then, a safe place such as a table or desk must be looked for, and the person must hide under it and hold on until the tremors subside.

If such furniture isn’t available, they must cover their head and faces with their arms and stay crouched in any corner of the building.

The safety keywords include “DROP, COVER & HOLD ON”.

What to do during an earthquake?

b. It is safer to avoid components of the building that are prone to fall, such as glasses, windows, exterior walls, lighting fixtures, etc.

c. If a person is on the bed when an earthquake strikes, they must stay on the bed and cover their head with a pillow if there is no heavy lighting fixture above the bed.

If there is a heavy lighting fixture above the bed, one must immediately find a safer place and hide.

d. The person must stay inside until the shaking completely stops.

It is dangerous to run outside the building while it is shaking, as in most cases, it has been found that most injuries occur while attempting to run outside the building during an earthquake.

e. The use of elevators must be completely avoided as there is a high possibility of power shutting down, trapping the person inside for long hours.

f. If a person is in a wheelchair when the earthquake strikes, they must immediately lock the wheels and protect the neck and head by covering them with hands.



  B. When one is outdoors during an earthquake:  

The following precautions must be taken when a person is outdoors during an earthquake:

a. The person must immediately move away from buildings, transmission lines, compound walls, street lights, and utility wires and move to comparatively open space as soon as possible.

b. Once open space is sought, the person must stay there until the shaking stops.



  C. When one is in a moving vehicle during an earthquake:  

The precautions that must be taken when a person is in a moving vehicle can be listed as follows:

a. The vehicle must be stopped as far as possible, and one must stay inside the vehicle itself.

It must be noted that the vehicle is stopped away from massive structures, utility and transmission towers, trees, and overpasses.

b. The person must stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops.

Proceeding through bridges and ramps as soon as the earthquake stops must be avoided as these structures may have been damaged due to the tremors.



  D. When one is trapped in fallen debris:  

If a person happens to be trapped in the counterparts of structures that have collapsed during the earthquake, the following practices may be beneficial:

a. The person must remain calm and should not move around or kick up the accumulated dust particles.

b. The mouth should be well covered by a handkerchief or by some clothing.

c. The lighting of matchsticks or lighters must be completely avoided.

d. To call for help and rescue, shouting must be kept as the last alternative as it may result in inhaling a large amount of dust, thereby causing choking and suffocation.

If available, whistles must be blown.

Tapping on the walls, pipelines, or nearby structures so rescuers can locate the person is also beneficial.


Read More: Earthquake Proof Buildings


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Er. Madhu Krishna Poudel
Er. Madhu Krishna Poudel
He is a founder and lead author of Dream Civil International and his civil engineering research articles has been taken as source by world's top news and educational sites like USA Today, Time, The richest, Wikipedia, etc.
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