Turkey News

Simple Tips to Keep Safe in an Earthquake

A tragic earthquake has struck Turkey and Syria. It is time to note what you can do to stay safe in case of an earthquake.
Simple Tips to Keep Safe in an Earthquake

© arda savasciogullari / shutterstock.com

February 09, 2023 07:20 EDT

Earthquakes can occur almost anywhere in the world. So, there are few countries that have never experienced them.

Most countries have some level of seismic activity, even if it is infrequent or of low magnitude. Even countries with low seismic activity can still experience earthquakes. If countries are located far from tectonic plate boundaries or away from zones of significant seismic activity, then they are safe. Such countries are few. Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands are the lucky ones.

How to prepare for an earthquake?

There are simple things you can do to prepare for an earthquake. These would limit the damage to life, limb and property when the ground beneath your feet literally shakes.

For a start, secure your home. This involves securing heavy objects and appliances to walls and floors, as well as securing cabinets, shelves, and bookshelves to prevent contents from falling. Similarly, knowing how to turn off utilities is important. Learning how to turn off gas, water, and electricity in your home when an earthquake strikes could save it from much damage.

Creating an emergency supply kit is important. This kid must include water, non-perishable food, first-aid supplies, a flashlight, extra batteries, and important documents. Similarly, making an evacuation plan is a good idea. Identifying potential escape routes from your home and workplace, and choosing a safe place to meet with family members is prudent.

You could also learn about earthquakes. Familiarizing yourself with the different types of earthquakes and their potential effects, as well as proper safety measures to take during an earthquake, could prove useful in a crisis. Practicing earthquake drills with family members to ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of an earthquake is important.

What to do during an earthquake?

During an earthquake, it’s important to act speedily to ensure safety. There are a few simple things to do that are most prudent. Remember to remain calm during an earthquake.

Dropping down on your hands and knees is a good idea. Ideally, take cover under a sturdy table or desk to avoid debris falling on your head. Put your arm and hand on your head and neck. Hold on to any sturdy furniture until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops. Make sure you stay away from windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and fireplaces. You do not want things to fall on you or come flying at you.

Ideally, you should evacuate if you are indoors. Being outside during an earthquake is generally safer. In case you are driving, then stop the car and stay inside. 

What to do after an earthquake?

After an earthquake, some actions help ensure safety and improve the recovery process. It is important 

Checking for injuries is the first thing to do. If someone is injured, then you must attend to that person and seek medical assistance if required. Checking damage to your home, workplace and your surrounding area comes next. Make sure to turn off gas, water and electricity if you suspect any damage.

Listening to news and updates for information, instructions and any potential dangers is also useful. In case of instructions to evacuate, do so promptly, follow known procedures and take familiar routes. Be careful to avoid damaged buildings, bridges, utility poles and other structures. In case of inclement weather, find shelter and connect with those conducting post-earthquake rescue operations.

[This article was produced with assistance from ChatGPT.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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