Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Earthquake Safety and Survival

I am sending this so you can speak to your kids about earthquakes.  The more they know what to expect, the calmer they will be if we have one here.  China had an Earthquake this morning – 6.9 – with at least 6 aftershocks.  They have at least 400 dead so far with over 10,000 injured.  It seems like these are happening weekly.  We have “Earthquake Activity Books” (these are really pretty cool) for ages (2-7) and (8-11) for every kid in the neighborhood plus I’m picking up the “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country” Booklet for every family in the neighborhood tomorrow.  We also have a “FEMA Disaster Book” for everyone in the neighborhood.  We will get these to you soon (as soon as Mick and I figure out how-probably your Block Captains).  We are checking with all Block Captains to make sure everyone has received their “Emergency Preparedness Booklet”.  If you haven’t received it yet, you will soon.


Haiti - 7.2; Brazil - 7.2; Mexico/California - 7.2; Indonesia - 7.7; Syracuse - ??? Are we Ready!!! F.H.E. #2 on Earthquakes - Attached is some information that can be used for children so they will know what to expect during an earthquake. Drop, Cover & Hold Color Sheet, Quake-Safe Home Checklist, Home Hazard Hunt, Shopping when Quake occurs, Home Earthquake Safety Sheet.

Earthquake Safety and Survival

What Happens During an Earthquake?
Most people caught in earthquakes have a feeling of helplessness.  Especially if they have never experienced a quake before, they have no idea how long it is going to last or what will happen next.

What to Expect?
The first indication of a damaging earthquake may be a gentle shaking.  You may notice the swaying of hanging plants and light fixtures or hear objects wobbling on shelves.  Or you may be jarred first by a violent jolt (similar to a sonic boom).  Or you may hear a low and perhaps very loud rumbling noise.  A second or two later, you’ll really feel the shaking, and by this time, you’ll find it very difficult to move from one place to another.

It is important to take “quake-safe” action at the first indication of ground shaking.  Don’t wait until you’re certain an earthquake is actually occurring.  As the ground shaking grows stronger, danger increases. 

Free-standing cabinets and bookshelves are likely to topple.  Wall-mounted objects (such as clocks, art work, etc) may shake loose and fly across the room.  Suspended ceiling components may pop out, bringing light fixtures and other components down with them.  Door frames may be bent by moving walls and may jam the doors shut.  Moving walls may bend window frames, causing glass to shatter and send dangerous shards into the room.

The noise that accompanies an earthquake may cause considerable emotional stress especially to children.

What To Do During An Earthquake:
1.  Stay Calm.  Having a plan will help you to stay calm.
2.  Stay Put.  If you are inside, stay inside.  If you are outdoors, stay there.
3.  Take Cover.  If indoors, take cover under a desk, table, or stand in a supported doorway, or along an inside wall or corner.  Stay clear of windows, bookcases, china cabinets, mirrors, and fireplaces until the shaking stops.  If no protection is available, drop to the floor and cover you head with your hands.  Never try to restrain a pet during the shaking.

If Outside --- Get into the open, away from buildings, trees, walls and power lines.  The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside exterior doorways and close to outer walls.  Stay in the open until the shaking stops.

If In a Car --- Pull over to the side of the road as quickly as is safely possible and stop.  Never stop on top of or underneath a bridge or under powerlines.  Stay in your car until the earthquake is over.  When you drive on, watch for hazards created by the earthquake.

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