Over the past week, the world has been seeing a remarkable increase in seismic activity, with earthquakes being reported all over the globe. Just this weekend, Oklahoma had a record 23 quakes hit the state, with the first one on Saturday being its strongest yet at a magnitude of 5.6.
In addition, last Tuesday, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake topped the strength of all previous quakes in Mexico, while smaller earthquakes were also recorded in Chile, China and Japan. Today alone, California has experiened dozens of minor quakes.
So what should a person do when an earthquake strikes?
Here are some suggestions one should follow depending on where the person is at the time, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) website:
- Do not stand under a doorway unless absolutely sure it is strongly supported, and stay away from any glass, furniture or lighting fixtures that could fall.
- Drop to the ground and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, or if none is around, stay crouched in a corner of the room covering your face and head with your arms.
- Stay inside until the earthquake stops, as research shows that most injuries occur when one tries to move to a different location or leave the building.
- Do not use elevators.
- Stay away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires, and stay out in the open until the shaking stops, as most injuries occur from being too close to collapsing walls and falling objects and debris.
In a Vehicle:
- Stop as quickly as possible, avoiding buildings, streetlights, trees or anything else that could fall, and once it is over, avoid taking bridges or ramps that could be damaged.
If Trapped Under Debris:
- Do not shout for help, as this can accelerate the pace with which toxic dust is inhaled. Instead bang on a pipe or wall so that rescuers can locate you.
- Cover your mouth with clothing to prevent dust inhalation, and do not attempt to move around too much as this can unsettle the dust.
For further information on earthquake preparedness, visit Ready.gov, which has numerous resources and guides for various disasters.