Preparing for an earthquake
Predicting when an earthquake will strike is one thing that scientists have not figured out yet. Scientists know that they happen along fault lines and we know where these fault lines are.
There are things we can do in preparation for them, and to make the response easier and quicker when they do.
Authorities need to educate people about earthquake prone areas and fault lines in the country. People must also be educated about what earthquakes are and how to respond to them when they occur.
Proper building permits and approvals must be given before people build in these areas. There are good engineering and architectural practices that can be engaged to put up earthquake-proof buildings.
Governments must ensure that facilities like fire and police stations, hospitals, schools and shelters, and emergency command posts are working well and prepared to deal with an emergency. In many countries, these facilities are legal requirements.
Know your environments and buildings. It is important that you know where you live and where you visit often. If this is an earthquake prone region, be sure you know about your building (home, school, work places) always keep in mind what you can do if an earthquake starts.
During an earthquake, try to get away from objects that will fall or break. Run for cover under a sturdy piece of furniture.
Move into the open if this is possible. Go out of the building if possible, as the building can cave in.
There are usually aftershocks hours, days and months after a main earthquake. Try to be on your guard and look out for it.
Learning what actions to take can help you and others to remain safe and healthy in the event of an earthquake. Sufficient preparation, planning and drills are required if societies can survive the occurrence on an earthquake. Far in advance, ensure you have enough emergency supplies at home, office and schools. Identify and reduce possible hazards in your home, and practice what to do during and after an earthquake.