At 9:43 a.m. on the morning of May 17th, 2013, an earthquake that originated in the Ottawa Valley was felt all the way down to Toronto. The earthquake measured 5.2 on the Richter scale.
Hallmark wants to ensure that everyone has this important information with regards to protecting themselves and their families in the event of an earthquake.
In the event of an earthquake, there are many things you can do to prevent serious harm to you and your family members. The key is to be prepared with knowledge and a plan. The following information is meant to give you some advice on how to handle yourself during such a catastrophe.
What occurs during an earthquake?
You can expect the following:
- From 15 seconds to up to 5 minutes of an occurrence.
- Violent shaking of the ground and the surrounding structures.
- Large pieces of furniture can topple, shift in position and / or sway.
- Fire / burglar /car alarms may be set off.
- You may hear buildings creak under the stress.
- Pictures, televisions may fall off the wall.
- You can expect debris, broken glass, smoke and dust during and after the event.
What can you do during and after an earthquake?
- Drop, cover and hold on. Because you may be forced to the ground, the best way to protect yourself is to follow these steps. (a) Drop: Get to the ground before you’re thrown to it. (b) Cover: find shelter under sturdy furniture (i.e.: tables, desks) (c) Hold on: Grasp table/desk legs and wait until the shaking subsides.
- Don’t leave the room to find shelter. Rather, remain where you are and find a corner of the room into which you can crouch. Cover your face and head with your arms. This can protect against debris, but also dust and chemicals exposed to the air.
- Be prepared for aftershocks. They can occur minutes after, and even many days after the initial earthquake.
- Check yourself for injuries, and then check for injuries in others that are nearby.
- Do you smell gas in the air? If you do, then open your windows / doors and leave immediately. Phone or report the gas leak to authorities.
- Find a radio and listen for updates.
- Do not use your phone, unless there is an immediate need or emergency.
- Get away from buildings that appear or may by damaged.
- Be aware of debris: glass, exposed wires, broken concrete.
- Be wary of being close to beaches as tsunamis can sometimes occur after the initial earthquake is done.
- If you are in an elevator during an earthquake don’t panic. Cables and counterbalances are in place to prevent falling. Instead, press all the floor buttons immediately. You need to get off at the nearest floor. If stuck, use the emergency telephone.
- If you are in your car, get below the level of the dashboard.
- If you are in a parkade, find a solid wall or pillar and crouch beside it. Protect your head and face with whatever you have handy.
What not to do
- Do not stand in a doorway. They don’t offer a sufficient level of protection from falling / flying debris.
- Avoid running during an earthquake. Don’t run to another room to seek shelter and don’t attempt to run outside. Debris on the floor and the shifting of walking surfaces can make it incredibly dangerous to navigate.
- Ignore the “Triangle of Life” theory. It suggests avoiding finding shelter under tables. It has largely been discounted by experts.
Do you have any question or need help? Contact us