In light of the recent earthquakes that have devastated countries around the world, most recently Haiti, Mama thought it would be fitting to discuss earthquake preparedness. Here in California, we are more prone to earthquakes due to the location of the earth’s fault lines and we should be prepared to keep our families and ourselves safe.
So what exactly is an earthquake? Well, for those that were sleeping or ditching Geology class…an earthquake is: the sudden movement or slipping of a portion of the earth’s crust, accompanied and followed by a series of vibrations. Unlike a tornado or weather-based natural disaster, there is no way to tell when and where an earthquake will occur. As we witnessed in Haiti, earthquakes can be so strong as to wipe out an entire country’s structures and kill thousands.
According to F.E.M.A (Federal Emergency Management Agency), this is what you should do in the midst of an earthquake:
- If you’re indoors: take cover under a sturdy desk, table or bench located away from windows on the inside of the room or building.
- Stay away from anything that could be dangerous and fall or break on your head or body (i.e. heavy overhead lighting fixtures; windows; ledges; furniture).
- If you’re in bed, stay there and protect your head with a pillow. Move only if there are heavy overhead or near objects that could harm you.
- DO NOT use elevators.
- Use a doorway for shelter only if it is near you and is a strongly supported structure.
- If you’re outdoors: stay there and move away from buildings, street lights, and utility wires.
- If you’re in a moving vehicle: stop when it is safe and remain in the vehicle. Make sure not to park under trees, utility wires, and buildings.
Mama suggests texting “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross International Response Fund — it’s easy and is added directly to your monthly cell phone bill. Another great way to donate — buy the “Hope For Haiti Now” album on iTunes where 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to five different charities heading up relief efforts in Haiti including the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, and Yele Haiti. For $7.99 you get an awesome album filled with amazing songs from artists like Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z…and you contribute to a good cause!