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How To Prepare For An Earthquake

Bozeman and Yellowstone are next door neighbors. It’s no secret that Yellowstone is one of the most geologically active and earthquake prone areas on the planet and given recent activity across the globe, one can’t help but think of our “neighbor”. How do you prepare?

1906 San Francisco Earthquake: Then And Now
Justin Sullivan – Getty Images News

Earthquakes come without warning. You’re not going to hear about it on the radio, television or internet before it happens. All we can do is prepare our homes and ourselves for AFTER an earthquake hits.

DUCK AND COVER OR FIND A STURDY DOORWAY. I grew up in California and on more than one occasion I waited out a quake in my bedroom doorway including the 1989 quake.

 

WHAT TO HAVE ON HAND?According to The Mother Nature Netork:

  • Stash an earthquake kit or two in easily accessible areas of the home. The San Francisco Chronicle has detailed instructions on how to assemble a DIY earthquake kit or you can look into preassembled earthquake kits from companies like Quake Kare, Nitro-Pak, American Family Safety, Earthquake Store and Earth Shakes.
  • General 72-hour survival kits are also an option since most contain the same supplies as earthquake-specific kits. StanSport makes a comprehensive disaster kit available at retailers like Walmart and Amazon.com. Whatever kit you choose, make certain that the basics — first-aid supplies, non-perishable food, water (at least one gallon per person, per day), flashlights with extra batteries, cash, sturdy shoes, a can opener, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, and a wrench or pillars to turn off utilities — are included. Also ensure that the kit can accommodate the size of your family and special needs like medical conditions that anyone might have.

The American Red Cross also offers these tip to prepare and be ready if a quake happens:

  • Become aware of fire evacuation and earthquake plans for all of the buildings you occupy regularly.
  • Pick safe places in each room of your home, workplace and/or school. A safe place could be under a piece of furniture or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
  • Practice drop, cover and hold on in each safe place. If you do not have sturdy furniture to hold on to, sit on the floor next to an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person’s bed.
  • Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
  • Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
  • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture to wall studs.
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures.
  • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
  • Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
  • Learn about your area’s seismic building standards and land use codes before you begin new construction.
  • Keep and maintain an emergency supplies kit in an easy ­to­ access location.

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