Natural disasters are the last thing you want to think about when you go on a holiday, but it’s not an option you can simply avoid. It can be a terrifying experience for tourists, but with the recent earthquakes that hit Indonesia, Iran and other parts of the world, it’s best to be prepared with the do’s and don’ts. After all, the most dangerous thing you can do in that situation is to panic.
Here are some things to do to prepare for an earthquake and what to do once the ground starts shaking.
1. Take cover
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Hide under a table, bed or any sturdy furniture to protect yourself against falling objects, debris and broken glasses. If there’s nothing for you to shelter under, crouch down in a corner or by a wall without windows, and cover your neck and head with your arms.
2. Find open space
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The biggest danger of being outdoors during an earthquake is the risk of collapsing walls and flying debris. Standing near a building, tree and the likes are highly inadvisable. Evacuate to an open space away from lamp posts and utility wires, and cover your mouth.
3. Pull over
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If you are driving when the disaster strikes, pull over to the side of the road and stay in the car. Do avoid stopping near trees, buildings, utility wires and overpasses in case they collapse. Driving during an earthquake will feel like there’s something wrong with the car. If you can’t tell, take notice if everyone else is pulling over as well.
4. Be prepared for aftershocks
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In most cases, an earthquake doesn’t just end there. Aftershocks often take place but vary in time. They may come right away, hours or days later, and they may be stronger or weaker than the original quake.
5. Save your phone battery
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Do inform your family and friends that you’re safe, but you should conserve the battery of your mobile phone. Electricity usually gets cut after an earthquake, but even if it’s available, it might not be safe for fear of electrocution. Minimize the usage of your phone and stay off it, so you’ll remain connected with the world in case of emergency.
1. Stand next to a window
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Even if you’re wondering what could be happening outside, please do not bother to find out until the shaking stops. Even then, aftershocks may happen. Being by a window will expose you to the danger of broken glasses.
2. Use the elevator
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Never get into the elevator even if it’s working just fine. Keep in mind of the risk of aftershocks, so the elevators might stop all of a sudden. Worse, the electricity goes out at the same time and you might not be able to escape for a while.
3. Drive over a bridge
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Due to the shock, the structure of the bridge might be damaged and not as sturdy as it was, therefore driving over could be dangerous in case it collapses.
4. Start a fire
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While it’s understandable that it would be dark at night if the power is out, starting a fire actually is not the best idea. There could be a gas leakage somewhere, and lighting a match or lighter could cause an explosion. Needless to say, smoking should be avoided as well.
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