PRR – Students – Earthquakes
Preparing for an earthquake requires knowing what to do before, during, and after an earthquake, and making sure these things are done before the next earthquake strikes. Earthquake preparedness on a school campus requires all hands on deck, meaning students, parents, faculty, etc to participate in making the campus a safer place for everyone. Preparing the schools buildings is the first step in preparedness. It is important to make the buildings more resistant to earthquake damage, and contain no nonstructural seismic weakness such as suspended ceilings, light figures, and other building contents that are not properly secured.
Next, make sure all students and faculty are trained in going to a safe place during an earthquake in a calmly fashion and “drop, cover, and hold on.” Evacuations to safer buildings may proceed once the shaking has stopped. Also, making a disaster supply kit with enough food, water, and medications to last a few days is important and highly recommended. To go further into detail and the supply kit, there should be enough food and water supplied for at least 3-10 days. A couple of extra, useful items to have in the kit include a first aid kid, flashlights, a radio, batteries, cash and important documents, clothing, tools, and sanitation supplies.
For those of those aware of the Triangle of Life, it is a false theory! The Triangle of Life has taught people in the emergency of an earthquake to not drop, cover, and hold on. It specifically states that when a building collapses, the ceilings weight will crush the object it falls down on; therefore, a space will be left next to them. This finding has been disputed by the American Red Cross.
Public shelters/relief organizations like the American Red Cross are open to people if there happens to be a large disaster.
Earthquakes can happen anywhere, anytime. During the event of an earthquake in school, have everyone drop to the ground–do not try to exit the building or laboratory during the shaking. If in a classroom or auditorium, take cover under a table or desk, and hold onto it while covering your head and neck with one hand as best as possible. Stay on your knees and bend over to protect vital organs. If there are no tables or desks to hide under, position yourself between rows of chairs. If you are in a laboratory or a room with no chairs or tables for shelter, step away from the lab tables and drop to the floor closest to the wall and away from glass and other hazardous materials. Then cover your neck and head with one hand and hold onto something sturdy with the other hand. When the shaking stops, wait for a minute or two and look at your surroundings for hazards before getting up and carefully exiting the building.
Most injuries from earthquakes result from falling or flying objects. Earthquakes can also cause serious hazards such as damage to buildings, leaking gas and water lines, or drowned power lines. Avoid these places if possible, check to see if you have any injuries and help others if you have had training. If you were in a building during the event of an earthquake, exit the building after the shaking stops. If you find yourself trapped, protect your mouth, eyes, and nose from dust and create commotion by sending a text, banging on a pipe or wall, or use a whistle to alert others about your situation.
Once you have extracted yourself from any place of damage, listen to the local news reports for updated information and emergency instructions through the radio, social media, TV, or cell phone text alerts. Let your close friends and family know about your situation and register on the American Red Cross “Safe and Well” website (https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php) so others know you are okay.
Do not attempt to remove any heavy objects or debris from the earthquake yourself. Wear protective clothing such as work gloves, long-sleeved shift, sturdy, thick-soled shoes, and work gloves during cleanup.
For more information on how to help others while waiting for professional help click here: https://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives