Three ways to protect yourself during an earthquake

dropcoverholdIt was only last week that another earthquake shook Indonesia, the aftermath of which was felt as far as India. Nobody needs to be reminded about the many quakes that rocked Japan last year. It might be that the Eastern countries are facing the shocks and tremors at the moment but that does not necessarily guarantee us a quake-free future. It’s happening there; very soon it could be happening here too.

I have always been scared of earthquakes but the shocks and shakes of the present times are scarier than ever. This is because they do not come alone; they bring the dreaded tsunami along. Call me a pessimist or a scaredy-cat but I like to be prepared and in-control of situations before it’s too late.

The 3 golden pointers that rescuers over the world suggest during an earthquake are:

  • Drop: By that, we are not asking you to jump out of the nearest window. Drop down to your knees. During an earthquake, the biggest danger one faces if from falling or flying objects. Hence, moving around during the duration of the quake is fraught with dangers. So, drop to your knees first and proceed to step number 2.
  • Cover: Quick, look around. See a heavy table? A bed? Seek cover immediately. While it’s best to cover the entire body but in case that isn’t possible, make sure to cover your head and neck. If there are no such cover options, crouch near low lying furniture or in places where chances of something falling on you are nil. Avoid glass top tables for obvious reasons.
  • Hold: Once you have found furniture to cover yourself, hold on to it throughout the duration of the earthquake and be prepared to glide, slide or tumble along with it should the earthquake move it and change its position.

It is true that we are mostly bombarded with TV clippings of collapsed buildings but the chances of an entire building collapsing are very less and thus, it is smart to seek shelter within it, rather than trying to find ways to get out of it. Especially if you are on a higher floor, it is best to drop, cover and hold. Lifts are a complete no-no. Also, do not panic and cry yourself hoarse. You will need your strongest voice ever when rescuers come looking and you happen to be somewhere remote.

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