I grew up in Sunny Southern California in Escondido, California (about 30 minutes inland from San Diego). When I was a kid we had fire drills right along with earthquake drills. We would all get under our desks and roll up into a ball and put our head in our hands. Ah, the memories.
According to the US Geological Survey, “Earthquakes pose a significant risk to 75 million Americans in 39 states.”1 if you live in an area prone to earthquakes or plan on visiting one, it would be beneficial for you to know what to do in case you find yourself in the midst of an earthquake. (For the record, Alaska, not California, is the most earthquake-prone state while North Dakota and Florida are the least.2) Scientists cannot predict when one will occur so you never know when this information will come in handy.
Back when I was a kid, we were told to get under a doorway. Many, many years ago homes in California were built with adobe bricks and wooden doorframes so it was common to see only the doorways still standing after a powerful earthquake. Consequently it was thought this was the safest place to be when an earthquake hit. As most homes are no longer built this way, this is no longer recommended. Doorways are not necessarily stronger than any other part of the house putting you in danger if you were to stand in one during a quake. So forget that advice! Instead, follow this advice from the US Geological Survey: Drop, Cover and Hold On.
- Drop – This just means to get on the floor when you feel the ground shaking. Simple enough. (If you are in bed already, just stay there, hold on to the sides and cover your head with your pillow.)
- Cover – If you are near a large desk or table, get underneath it. If not, place yourself against an interior wall and use your arms to cover your head and neck, the most vulnerable parts of your body. Try your best to stay away from windows, anything hanging on the walls and any large objects that could topple over on you. Also avoid exterior walls.
- Hold On – This applies if you are under a desk or table. Grab one of the legs of the desk or table with one arm while using your other arm to cover your head and neck which should be tucked chin to chest.
Drop, Cover and Hold On looks a little differently if you are not inside a building. If you find yourself outdoors try to get out into the open if possible. Get as far as you can from buildings, trees, powerlines or anything else that could fall on you. Always assume fallen powerlines are live and avoid them. If you are driving pull over to the side of the road when it’s safe to do so and set your parking brake. Avoid bridges and overpasses. Don’t get out until the earthquake is over and you are sure no powerlines have fallen on your car. If you do have fallen powerlines on your car, wait until a trained professional can remove it for you.
Practice with your kids by showing them how to cover their head with their arms and tuck into a ball. Make it a fun game of becoming a roly poly. Be sure to also point out the safe places to go in the different rooms of the house. Maybe once a month have an earthquake drill to have everyone practice. Assign them a different room of the house each time to be in when the earthquake “strikes”.
Are you curious if what you just felt was an earthquake? You can check and report if you felt something at the US Geological Survey website. Sometimes they are undeniable, but other times you may be left wondering. You can also see a real time view of earthquakes as they are occurring around the world.
Do you have a plan if an earthquake happens where you live?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon May 14 with all the carnival links.)
- Be Prepared for Emergencies — Becky at Crafty Garden Mama is reviewing Angela England’s new ebook, The Untrained Housewife’s Guide to Getting Prepared. See what measures she is learning to adopt in her family.
- Prepare to Expect a Safe and Beautiful Natural Birth — What do you need to have prepared so that you can have a nice and relaxing birth at home? Lisa at The Squishable Baby shares her list in a guest post at Natural Parents Network.
- Fire Boxes for Emergency Preparedness — Jana of Jananas tells why she bought a fire box to store important documents and what is stored in the box.
- Firefighter Training Homeschool Curriculum — Kellie at Our Mindful Life helped her homeschooled kids prepare for emergencies through a Firefighter Training unit.
- 3 Secrets to a Royal Emergency — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep tells the secret to living like kings during a storm-induced power outage.
- Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency? — Chrystal at Happy Mothering shares an overview of what her family has done to become more prepared for emergencies.
- What to Do in an Earthquake — Julia at A Little Bit of All of It gives instructions for staying safe in the event of an earthquake as well as tips for teaching your children to keep safe and where to find information online after an earthquake.
- Spring Cleaning & Preparing, Part 2 — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger organizes and replenishes her emergency supply every spring and is learning to add to the food stockpile by preserving year-round.
- 15 Must-Haves For The Natural Minded Family When Disaster or Emergency Strikes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she prepares for disaster or an emergency as a natural minded mama. Learn what 15 natural items you should consider having on hand!
- Emergency Preparedness: Cosleeping, Cheezits, Chocolate — Kristine at All the Things in the World was happy to have cosleeping in her emergency tool kit during Hurricane Sandy.
- Being Prepared For Personal Disasters — Luschka at Diary of a First Child draws on her own recent experiences and considers five things every parent should have in place to ease the burden when sudden disaster strikes.
- The Natural Emergency Kit That I Always Carry in My Diaper Bag — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the four green and natural items in her emergency kit that she can’t do without when she’s out and about with her little ones.
- Prepared… or not? — Is it dangerous to not prepare? Jorje of Momma Jorje shares whether her family prepares…or not.
- Pack a car safety kit: 25 must-have items for emergencies — Whether you’re out for a leisurely drive or fleeing a disaster, Lauren at Hobo Mama offers tips on stocking your car with emergency supplies that will tide you over if you’re stranded.
- Teaching My Children About Tornados — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about preparing her children for tornado season.
- Preparing our children for emergencies — Preparing for emergencies means preparing your children, and Robbie at Going Green Mama shares ways on how to empower kids when it comes to emergencies.
- Emergency Preparedness in Sub-Saharan Africa — After living in Sub-Saharan Africa for 7 years, emergency preparedness is not just a concept any more to Laura from Authentic Parenting.
- Five Ideas to Keep Babies and Toddlers Safe from Choking — Do you have a baby or toddler who likes to put everything (and I mean *everything*) in her mouth? Dionna at Code Name: Mama does, and today she’s sharing a story and some tips on how to keep your little ones safe from choking.