It is important to make your home safe during and after an earthquake. Earthquakes come with no warning, and at all times of the day or night. You need to have prepared for an earthquake in order to survive and protect your family. You should also know and practice what to do immediately following an earthquake. This will help your family make the best of a shaky situation. Here are five things to consider:
1) Check the wall hangings and bookshelves in your home. This includes any large furniture that may tip over or items, which may fall off of the shelves. It is important to pay particular attention to what is near the beds in your house, because the reaction time is slower when you are asleep.
2) Teach your children what to do during an earthquake. They need to know how to protect themselves; where to stand and what to do after an earthquake is over. You may want to have practice drills with your children, so that they will automatically know what to do.
3) Locate your gas, water, and electricity turn off valves. It is important to shut off the gas if you think there is a leak. Do not turn the gas back on until a professional has checked your house for you. Do not try to locate a leak yourself. If you think there is one, turn off the gas. If you have a water leak it is best to turn the main water valve to your house off. You may also want to turn off the electricity for safety. Once you locate the valves, make sure you understand how to turn them off.
4) Be aware of dangers that follow an earthquake. Your home may not be as structurally sound. There may be broken glass through out the house. Often there are aftershocks after an earthquake. The aftershocks may be as strong or stronger than the original earthquake. You should watch for downed power lines, gas leaks, and other debris in the streets.
5) Make sure that your family knows what to do after an earthquake if they are not home. You should have an emergency number set up. You should also have a plan to pick up your longer children from school.