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WHAT TO DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

Arielle Santos
Student ducking and covering under desk in Mr. Swain's room

Arielle Santos and Jeremy Nuno

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The Rose Canyon fault goes right through the heart of San Diego, and has the potential to produce a heavily destructive earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 or higher anytime now. An earthquake like that could cause up to $40B worth of damage and kill up to 2,000 people. According to Jorge Menese, the president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), San Diego is not prepared for a disaster of this size. In addition to this calamity, we’re located by the coast, so it’s very likely that this earthquake can cause a tsunami. This huge earthquake could strike today, next week, or maybe even a year from now. It’s uncertain when we’ll be hit, therefore it’s best to take whatever precautions you can in the event of an earthquake.

To prepare for these events, make sure to get these things ready. Try to learn how to provide basic first aid, in case someone were to get injured after an earthquake. In general, it’s a crucial skill. It’s also recommended to make a safety kit that includes a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, battery powered radio, as well as water bottles, snacks, a flashlight, and extra batteries. It doesn’t have to be anything special; this could all be stored in something as simple as a pillow case.

Some precautions you can tank within your home is to: set up a safe place in each room, anchor furniture, cupboards, and appliances to walls or floors. Also remember to avoid storing heavy things on high shelves, store anything heavy or fragile on lower shelves. You want to decrease the likelihood of something heavy falling onto you. It’s also important to learn how to turn off your gas, water, and electricity. Try to learn your school’s earthquake plan as well as develop your own plan with your family, an important part being having a safe meet up place after an earthquake.

Now that you have prepared for the earthquake it is time for you to know what to do while it happens. Always remember to stay calm, find shelter where you are, and stay put until all shaking ceases. Also remember to drop, cover, and hold. If you are inside a building, do not use elevators. If you are outside, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and powerlines. Then, drop to the ground. If you are inside of a car, slowly drive to a safe place and stay put until the shaking stops.

Once all the shaking stops, you must check your surroundings for any damage. You must also check all the people around you for injuries. Be prepared for physical aftershocks which may be stronger than the earthquake itself. Shut off all gas, water, and electrical lines if they have been damaged or if you suspect that they have been damaged. There may be a tsunami after the shake therefore you must try to move to higher ground. After you have done all this, turn on your radio for any updates that may occur.

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WHAT TO DO DURING AN EARTHQUAKE