Dealing with the Aftermath of an Earthquake
When an earthquake strikes, it can be very alarming and cause you to feel disoriented. The aftermath of an event like this can range from rather irrelevant to quite tremendous. That is why it is good to know what to do in case of emergencies, should you happen to go through this natural disaster, what ever magnitude it may be.
1. Survey Injuries of Others
Once you know the earthquake settles down and its safe to leave shelter, you need to check on those in your home and neighbors nearby for injuries. Do what you can to aid those that are injured. However, it is very important to know not to remove any items that may have created a puncture wound, doing that could make the situation worse for the person you are trying to help. After you have helped everyone with their injuries be sure to not move anyone from their location if they are hurt too badly. Call the rescue workers and wait with the injured person until they arrive.
2. Look for Fires
Fires are a common occurrence after an earthquake happens. As you are clearing the area, be on the lookout for any fires or potential fire hazards. If you see a fire, asses the situation, if it looks small enough to be put out by you personally go ahead and put it out. If a fire seems too monstrous see if you can see or hear anyone in the vicinity, if so call the fire department and tell them the severity and if or how many people may be with in the blaze. Keep a look out for other potential fire hazards such as downed wires (especially near liquid) or smoking debris. Be sure to stay clear of any hazards and let the authorities know of them.
3. Evacuate Unsafe Buildings
Survey the building you are located in for any damage damage. Be sure to evacuate the building if you notice deep cracks in the ceiling and walls, or other signs of structural damage. Make sure that everyone in the building is aware of the impending danger you sited and help them to leave. Once you have decided whether or not you are safe look at the surrounding buildings as well and notify tenants if you believe they could be in danger. If your building was not safe enough to remain within, let the rescue workers know so they can get you to a safe shelter.
4. Start the Cleanup Process
The cleanup process can start after you have determined that everyone and everything around you is safe. Depending on the varying degree of the earthquake your clean up may vary as well. Start by Pick up broken glass, mop up any spills, putting the furniture back in place and anything else that may need to be tidied up. If the earthquake has done more damage than you can clean up alone, there are organizations created to help people in situations such as that. If you are not already aware of the organizations in your area ask the police or the rescue workers; they will be able to refer you to some.
5. Check with Authorities About the Conditions of Other Areas
Check the news reports for the condition of the area around your location before venturing out. It is best to not go out looking around until you have the go ahead from the local authorities. After an earthquake, there can be residual tremors or shock waves that happen. You do not want to be out while those occur, it can put you at risk again.
If you cannot contact your family and need to locate any members, be sure to check with the Red Cross. They can help you to find your loved ones if they have been lost or happened to be apart from you at the time of the earthquake.