My office sent my colleagues and me to an earthquake training 101 class yesterday — it was very interesting and a little bit terrifying. For one, the presenter showed us a simulation of what the Bay Bridge in San Francisco will look like if there was an earthquake that rated a 7 on the Richter scale rippling through the city. Suffice to say, the image of the bridge bending like playdough seriously scared me. I'm going to start being more prepared for natural disasters, and you should do the same with these tips:
- Sensible Footwear: If you're a heel-loving gal, make sure you at least keep a pair of sensible shoes with thick soles at the office. This is so when you walk home, your feet will be protected from the rubble and glass bits.
- Masks: If parts of buildings have collapsed or fallen, the air is bound to be dusty. Get a mask that will filter the dust out so you can walk home.
- Food and Water: Make sure your office has a storage of water and food to sustain you for 72 hours (it's the most critical time for an earthquake).
- Duck, Cover, and Hold: The most dangerous thing that can happen indoors is falling objects, so make sure you get under your desk when the ground shakes and hold onto it.
- Wait For It: Check with your building if this applies to you, but they should have earthquake announcements that will inform people when it's safe to leave by the stairs. Although your immediate impulse will be to go home and get away from your office building, wait for the building to announce if it's safe to leave. Sometimes the stairs might not be reliable, and your building will let you know if there are any problems with it.
For more tips to get you prepared for an earthquake, read on.
- Don't Take the Elevator: Don't take the elevator after an earthquake! There will be major aftershocks, so don't risk going down the building in something that can malfunction and fall. If you are in the elevator, get out of it immediately.
- Higher Ground: If you work by the sea and if there is a tsunami alert, quickly move to higher ground. Don't look for the wave to take pictures because if you can see it that means it's too late. There is no way you'll be able to outrun a tsunami.
- Have a Plan: Figure out the best way to get in touch and meet up with friends and family after the earthquake stops.
- First Aid Kit: If possible, keep a first aid kit at your office. Remember to also keep an extra supply of medication in there if you take some every day.
For more useful earthquake tips, check out 72hours.org. How have you prepped yourself for an earthquake?