Are You Ready for an Earthquake?


Evan J Coughlin

1989 Earthquake

Geovanni Gomez, Staff Writer

Many catastrophes happen throughout our world including: wildfires, floods and droughts, tornadoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. We may not be able to prevent these events from happening, but we can prepare ourselves for them.

Focusing on our state, California, it is more common to worry about earthquakes. We shouldn’t worry about tornadoes here in our state. An earthquake is caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault and releases energy, or, as we feel it, a good shake. Earthquakes have caused a lot of damage and also has taken many lives throughout human history. Since the year 2000, over 250,000 people have died worldwide because of several devastating earthquakes.

Our last major earthquake was in 1994, when many people lost their lives in the Northridge Earthquake. Many people were hurt and ran out of supplies. Simple essentials such as water and electricity were out and many freeways were damaged for months. This was a difficult time for many people. Although it was a hard time to live through, many people weren’t prepared or weren’t expecting something so huge to happen and affect their lives.

So you may ask yourself, how can I prepare for an earthquake? There are many things a person can do before, during, and after an earthquake. The things you do to prepare for an earthquake can potentially save your life and others as well.

 There are a couple of things you should do in preparation for an earthquake. It is important to scout and know your surroundings before an earthquake strikes. This can help you identify many safe locations and meet up spots to reunite with your family or friends just in case you get separated. You may also practice “drop, cover, and hold on” drills which are something that can seriously help you during an earthquake. It also important to prepare many supplies before an earthquake such as water, food, flashlights, and clothing. You may also want to want to check your house for objects that may fall over during an earthquake such as bookcases or heavy picture frames hanging on the wall.

During an earthquake, it is important to protect your crucial body parts. You need to protect your head and neck from possible flying debris. You should also stay away from walls, windows, and doorways. During an earthquake the safest thing to do is to stay put, close to the ground, protecting your head and neck. Do not run outside, as it is recommended to stay in place covering your head and neck.

After an earthquake, observe and notice if you have a clear and safe way out of the building or location. After that, look for safe centers or authorities to provide help. If you are stuck, remain calm and wait for search and rescue teams to come and help.

An earthquake can happen anytime, so it’s better to be prepared for it. What’s stopping you from getting ready? Don’t be shy…spread the word about earthquakes!