Earthquakes can occur at any time and in any area of Canada. Because earthquakes are so unpredictable, everyone should be prepared for them to avoid potentially severe damages, injuries and even death. Here is what to do to prepare for an earthquake:
Before an earthquake:
- An emergency kit should be created. It should last at least 3 days and include water, non-perishable food, and other essential items.
- A family emergency communication plan must be established. It should include a meeting place outside the home to ensure that everyone in the family knows where to meet each other in case they get separated.
- Homes and properties should be inspected to ensure they are earthquake resistant. Structures must be anchored to their foundations and have sturdy crawl space walls.
- Homes should be checked for any items that could fall, such as light fixtures, bookshelves, or mirrors. These items must be secured firmly so they don’t cause injuries during earthquakes.
- All members of a household must practice the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill.
- A sturdy piece of furniture or an interior wall that can be quickly reached must be located.
- Everyone must get under the furniture or near the interior wall, drop to the ground and cover their head and neck with their arms.
- Practicing often is advised.
During the earthquake:
- Those inside a building must drop, cover and hold on as explained above.
- Everyone should stay inside, as trees or debris might fall outside.
- Those in a house should stay away from windows, glass, doors and any objects that might fall, such as light fixtures.
- Getting in a doorway is a bad idea, since it doesn’t provide enough protection from flying objects. Falling down and getting injured is also a possibility when staying in a doorway.
- Those who are outside should move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires, then drop, cover and hold on, as described above.
- Those who are in a moving vehicle must stop the car safely, but avoid parking near trees or buildings. They should stay inside the car until the shaking is over.
When the earthquake stops:
- Those inside a building should locate a safe exit, get out and stay away from damaged structures.
- Those trapped must not move and use their cell phone if possible. To direct rescuers to them, they should whistle or tap on a pipe or wall.
- Those in a vehicle should drive carefully and avoid damaged roads or bridges.
Home fires and flooding are also disasters everyone should prepare for. Tips to prevent home fires are available here and how to protect homes from flooding here. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.