Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere and when one strikes, you may not have time to respond. Many parts of India have a high to severe earthquake hazard and all our states have at least moderate risk to earthquakes. Many of our states are affected by floods every year. States along the Himalayas, the Western and Eastern Ghats also have landslide hazard. Wherever in the country we are, it is important that everyone in our family be aware of what can happen and be prepared for the same.
Here are some tips for earthquake preparedness which are also relevant for slower onset disasters. Please download this and share freely with your dear and near ones.
Earthquakes are inevitable, but damage due to earthquakes is not. Many of us feel that we cannot do much about the destruction caused by earthquakes and can only pick up the pieces if we survive. In reality, earthquake damage and loss can be reduced to a large extent by a series of small steps that must be taken at every level of society- before, during and after an earthquake.
Before an earthquake: Develop a family emergency plan and practice it regularly. Prepare to be self sufficient for a minimum of three days and assemble an emergency supply kit; include food, plenty of water, prescription medications and first aid supplies, a battery operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, shelter clothing, sturdy shoes and personal toiletries. Keep these items in an easy to carry bag. Please refurbish this bag every 4 months. This can be done on Republic Day, Mahavir Jayanti/ Easter in April and Independence Day. Keep important family documents in a safe place, or scan and send it to own email so that copies are available after a disastrous event.
Conduct a hazard hunt in your home and anchor all possible falling hazards.
During earthquakes: Do not panic, remain calm. Do not try to exit during an earthquake shaking. DROP, COVER and HOLD under sturdy furniture as shown in the picture (overleaf) and if you are in a place without furniture, put your arms over head and make yourselves as small as possible to protect yourself against possible objects falling from above.
After an earthquake: When the shaking stops, evacuate the building cautiously without using the lift. Listen to the radio for emergency information and additional safety instructions. Stay out of damaged buildings as there may be aftershocks following the earthquake.
Do not heed/spread rumours.
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS:
Police: 100 Fire: 101 & Ambulance: 102
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of USA is one of the leading disaster management agencies in the world and they have many guidelines published on how to prepare your family. Please go through the link as below to get more materials on how to prepare a family. (Click here)