Problem: Home has suffered
stress and damage from earth quake.
Background: For what to do during an earthquake.
After an earthquake has struck, be prepared for additional
earthquake shocks called “aftershocks.” Though most of
these are smaller than the main shock, some may be large
enough to cause additional damage. Respond to requests for
help from police, fire fighting, civil defence, and relief
organizations, but do not go into dam aged areas unless
your help has been requested. Don’t go sightseeing,
especially in beach and water front areas where seismic
sea waves may strike. Keep the streets clear for emergency
vehicles. Cooperate fully with public safety officials.
(In some areas you may be arrested for get ting in the way
of disaster operations.)
What to do: Check your family, those around you,
and others in your neighborhood for injuries. Don’t
attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are
in immediate danger of further injury. Don’t use your
phone except for genuine emergency calls. Use a radio for
damage reports and information. Don’t share rumors or un
verified stories; they often do great harm after
disasters. Wear shoes, if possible, in all areas near
debris or broken glass. Check for fires or fire hazards.
Avoid downed power lines or objects touched by downed
wires. Do not enter the home or neighborhood until
approved by the authorities.
Special advice: When re-entering the neighborhood
or home, check for damage to utility lines and appliances.
Do not use matches, lighters, or open-flame appliances
until you are sure that there are no gas leaks. Don’t
operate electrical switches or appliances if gas leaks are
suspected. If gas leaks exist, shut off the main gas
valve. If there is damage to home wiring, shut off the
electrical power. Report damage to the utility companies
and follow their instructions. Approach chimneys with
caution, first checking them from a distance. Check entire
chimney lengths for cracks and damage, particularly in the
attic and at the roof line. Unnoticed damage could lead to
a fire. Check closets and storage shelf areas. Open closet
and cupboard doors carefully and watch for falling
objects. Check to see that sewage lines are intact before
flushing toilets. Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, and
other potentially harmful materials.
Helpful hint: Check
your freezer and plan to use foods that will spoil quickly
if the power is shut off. Don’t eat or drink anything from
open containers near shattered glass. If the water is off,
you can get emergency water from water heaters, toilet
tanks, melted ice cubes, and canned vegetables.