Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Earthquake Survival Tips

"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:6-8).
Earthquakes are increasing and Tsunamis warnings are becoming frequent everyday. 

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible after effects. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the earth, caused by the abrupt release of strain that has accumulated over a long time. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

Tsunamis (pronounced soo-nĂ¡-mees), also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite. A tsunami can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and smash into land with waves as high as 100 feet or more.

Minimize your movements during an earthquake to a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If you are indoors:
• Take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or bench or against an inside wall, and hold on. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
• Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
• Stay in bed—if you are there when the earthquake strikes—hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fi xture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
• Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
• Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Most injuries during earthquakes occur when people are hit by falling objects when entering into or exiting from buildings.
• Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fi re alarms may turn on.
• DO NOT use the elevators.

If you are outdoors:
• Stay there.
• Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

If you are in a vehicle:
• Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
• Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped, watching for road and bridge damage.

If you are trapped under debris:
• Do not light a match.
• Do not move about or kick up dust.
• Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
• Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort— shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of

Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach. 

Always remember, in order to survive any disaster, you must be prepared, vigilant, and calm. Let's pray and just "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

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