One cannot avoid a natural calamity as disastrous as an earthquake, but what one can do is take precaution. For those who live in high rises, it can be quite a challenge to get their families and themselves to safety. The first thing that sets in is panic when you experience something that will be causing a major catastrophe. You need to stay calm and make sure you do all the right things when faced with an earthquake. If you have senior citizens living in your house, then it can be quite nightmarish.
If you live in a high rise and are stuck because of an earthquake, here is what you should do.
- Drop to the ground and seek cover under a sturdy table or any heavy furniture. Hold your position until the trembling stops.
- If there is no such furniture around you, protect your head and face by covering it with your arms and sit tight in an inside corner of your building.
- If you feel you can evacuate the building, do not take the elevators. Rush down the stairs in a civilized manner without creating a situation of panic or stampede.
- If you are on bed when this happens, cover your head and face with a pillow. If there is a fan or lighting overhead, rush out of the bed to a safe corner
- Switch off all electrical appliances and gas lines. The easiest way to do this is by switching of all the mains.
- If the earthquake throws up dust, cover your nose and mouth with a cloth. Avoid inhaling dust at all cost.
- If your high rise has an emergency plan in case of calamities, follow it sincerely. Listen to the orders of the instructor and obey it.
- Have a backup communication plan for your family. There could be a possibility that you are at work, kids are at school and your old parents are at home. All should be aware about each other being safe and secure.
- Have an emergency kit which consists of firstaidkit, battery operated torch, battery operated radio, knife and so on.
Here is a list of Don’ts when in an earthquake situation
- Do not light a candle or a matchstick to find your way in the dark. You can create an explosion.
- Don’t take shelter under heavy and moving objects like chandeliers. The likelihood of them falling or collapsing is high.
- When stuck in your house, stay away from windows, outside walls and anything else that can collapse and fall.
- Do not move around without proper footwear. The chances of being injured due to debris or broken glasses is quite high.
- Do not find shelter under a doorway. They can neither protect you from flying debris nor dust. Also a swinging door can create a massive injury too.
As a Managing Committee member, you should make use of the SMS broadcast feature of ADDA, with which you can inform all to evacuate or duck under a table or gather at a refugee flat and stay safe.