I just love all of you here, & I want you all to be aware of safety procedures, keep yourself & your family & pets safe.
Have practice drills for your family. To know how to protect yourself before one hits. Most quakes happen quickly without warnings and are done shaking & or rolling within a few seconds to a few minutes… But do expect more quakes to hit again within minutes, & even for days & weeks after first one….
Plan for emergencies, BEFORE they happen.
Do practice drills once a month with your family & pets.
As soon as you feel a tremor, don’t sit & wonder if it will grow, get your family a plan to know where to go, & if possible, grab your pets with you. Do not run outside – do not run at all. Stay calm as best as you can.
When quakes are done & it is safe, check your gas lines & water heater. Better yet, go to Home Depot or hardware store & invest in earthquake brackets to bolt your water heater, & other large furniture in your home to walls to prevent falling during quakes.
Check outside & inside house walls for cracks, usually this happens around windows from ground upward, & check your roof for fallen or loosen roof tiles, the Spanish tiles fall easiest (it happened to my home before during a big quake).
If you smell gas, turn off your gas AND electric power completely, if safe to do so, if you can, & do NOT turn on or even off any electric switches on walls or lamps, etc. DOING SO CAN IGNITE AN EXPLOSION if there are any gas leaks or fires nearby.
DO NOT USE HOUSE PHONES, doing so can ignite & cause fires & explosions..Cell phones are OK TO USE. CALL 911 for gas companies if you have broken lines or smell gas…and last but not least, if you smoke cigs or whatever.
DO NOT LIGHT UP TO SMOKE! Doing so can cause an explosion if there are any gas leaks nearby, even if not in your house, it could be coming from neighbors home, or even gas lines on property or streets! Do not turn on stoves or ovens after a quake until you are positive no gas lines are broken or cracked.
Do not drink water from faucets after big quakes. However, water from toilet is yucky to think about drinking, but it is safe do so, if tank not cracked or broken, if there is no other water to drink.
And if a quake is really bad, & your home is damaged, there will be emergency shelters set up throughout your city. It is good thing to get maps of where all emergency shelters are planned by city to beset up..usually schools, churches, & city buildings, & hospitals.
Be safe, be smart. Knowledge + Advanced Planning + practice drills = survival!
Love you all!
By Linda Lee
(who has had to live with quakes since the age of 17, wrote this extremely useful piece of advice to pass onto other people – thank you)