Earthquake News

Surviving Earthquakes: Increasing your chances in the aftermath

Surviving the aftermath of an earthquake can be a daunting task, especially if one is trapped in the rubble. However, with proper preparation and knowledge, one can increase their chances of survival.

According to experts, people can survive up to a week or more in the rubble of an earthquake, depending on the severity of their injuries, the extent of their entrapment, and weather conditions. It is important to note that the first 24 hours are crucial for rescue efforts, and survival chances decrease as each day passes.

Access to water and air, along with the weather, play a significant role in determining the survival chances of trapped individuals. In the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, rescue efforts have been challenged by the harsh winter conditions, with temperatures dropping well below freezing.

Dr. Jarone Lee, an emergency and disaster medicine expert at Massachusetts General Hospital, stated that it is uncommon to find survivors after the fifth to seventh day and most search and rescue teams tend to stop their efforts by then. However, there have been rare and extraordinary cases of people surviving beyond the seven-day mark.

Earthquakes can cause significant damage to homes and structures, and even result in collapse. By taking steps to make homes earthquake-resistant, homeowners can reduce the risk of damage and increase the chances of survival for themselves and their loved ones.

Securing heavy objects, reinforcing the foundation, and installing seismic retrofits are some of the steps that homeowners can take to ensure the stability of their homes during an earthquake. By being prepared and informed, homeowners can make a significant impact in reducing the risk of damage and ensuring the safety of their homes during a seismic event.

Additionally, by increasing their chances of survival in the aftermath of an earthquake, homeowners can better protect themselves and their families during a disaster situation. Knowing what to do and being prepared can make a significant difference in ensuring safety and reducing the risk of harm during an earthquake.

There are several steps homeowners in Seattle can take to ensure their homes are earthquake-resistant:

  • Conduct a home hazard assessment: This involves evaluating the potential hazards in your home, such as heavy objects that could fall, unstable shelves, or gas appliances that could be damaged during an earthquake.
  • Secure heavy objects: Secure items like bookcases, televisions, and water heaters to the wall or floor to prevent them from falling.
  • Fasten the water heater: Make sure your water heater is securely fastened to the wall to prevent it from tipping over.
  • Reinforce the foundation: If your home has a crawl space or basement, you can reinforce the foundation by adding braces or seismic anchors to secure the structure.
  • Install seismic retrofits: Retrofits such as seismic gas shut-off valves, seismic wall bracing, and shear wall retrofits can significantly improve the stability of your home during an earthquake.
  • Check for bolted connections: Make sure your home is bolted to its foundation, and check the connections between the walls, floor, and roof to ensure they are secure.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain: Regularly inspect and maintain your home's earthquake safety measures to ensure they are in good working condition.

By taking these steps, homeowners in Seattle can significantly reduce the risk of their homes collapsing during an earthquake. It's always better to be proactive in ensuring the safety and stability of your home.

In conclusion, to increase one's chances of survival in the aftermath of an earthquake, it is important to stay calm and conserve energy, make noise to signal for help, and cover any open wounds to prevent infections. Additionally, being prepared and informed ahead of time can make a significant impact during a disaster situation.

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