Earthquake Safety 

By Isabella Corona

City of Vancouver 

Living in California means earthquakes happen often. Earthquakes are natural and occur without warning: “Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake. During the earthquake and afterward, the plates or blocks of rock start moving, and they continue to move until they get stuck again” (Michigan Tech). While an earthquake is happening, it is common for things to fall down or break as everything is shaking. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, knowing how to prepare for them is really helpful and it might even save your life. 

 

Earthquakes can transpire anytime, so being prepared for one is necessary. Make sure that you and your family have a clear plan in case of an earthquake; don’t forget about your pets, they're your family too. Communication is key. Talking to your family about earthquakes is one of the first things you should do. It is very important to make sure that everyone in your family knows what to do before an earthquake occurs. The next thing that your family should know is what to hide under in case of one. Make sure whatever you hide under is sturdy. Lastly, have a bag with some clothes and food that has a late expiration date. This will act as an emergency pack just in case your house does not make it through the earthquake and you have to leave. Being prepared for an earthquake is the first step to earthquake safety.

 

Knowing what to do while an earthquake is happening is one of the most important steps of earthquake safety. Oftentimes, people think that doorways are stronger than any other part of your house, but this turns out to be false. Doorways are just as strong as your roof, so instead of standing under a doorway, crawl under a sturdy piece of furniture. If you have a desk or chair in your room, make sure to crawl under them in case things fall from your ceiling, you will not get hit by anything. I know it is going to be uncomfortable, but it is better than getting hit in the head by heavy objects. The most important part of your body to cover is your head, so make sure that you are doing all you can to protect your head. If you are outdoors, make sure that you are in a clear area, where there are not a lot of buildings or powerlines. Knowing what to do while an earthquake is happening can prevent avoidable accidents. 

 

California has frequent earthquakes and this makes earthquake safety essential. We might not have any hurricanes, tsunamis, or tornadoes like other states do, but we do have some pretty big earthquakes. Although we can do nothing to stop earthquakes from happening, we can always do something to be prepared for them. This is actually the safest way to deal with earthquakes: just having a well thought out plan. Being prepared can save your life one day. Make sure you and your family are educated about earthquake safety because you never know when an earthquake will strike.

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