East County News Service
October 8, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- Do you know how to protect your home and your family when a major quake strikes? Recent seismic activity in San Diego has shown the importance of being prepared. All County residents are urged to participate in the Great California ShakeOut October 21 at 10:21 a.m. Schools, colleges, businesses, churches, and community organizations can register at www.shakeout.org. To date, more than 6.6 million Californians have registered to participate; over 530,000 are from San Diego County.
Here are tips from Shakeout on what to do -- and what NOT to do in a quake:
Official rescue teams who have been dispatched to the scene of earthquakes and other disasters around the world continue to advocate use of the internationally recognized "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protocol to protect lives during earthquakes:
• DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
• Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
• HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
If there isn’t a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not try to run to another room just to get under a table.
These are general guidelines for most situations. Depending on where you are (in bed, driving, in a theater, etc.), you might take other actions, as listed in Step 5 of the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety. http://www.earthquakecountry.info/roots/step5.html. Don’t try to move away; instead immediately protect yourself where you are. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl; you will most likely be knocked to the ground.
Studies of injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes in the U.S. over the last fewl decades indicate that you are much more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects (TVs, lamps, glass, bookcases, etc.) than to die in a collapsed building. Drop, Cover, and Hold On offers the best overall level of protection in most situations.
What NOT to do:
DO NOT get in a doorway! An early earthquake image of California is a collapsed adobe home with the door frame as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. In modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!
DO NOT run outside! Trying to run in an earthquake is dangerous, as the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by debris or glass. Running outside is especially dangerous, as glass, bricks, or other building components may be falling. You are much safer to stay inside and get under a table.
DO NOT believe the so-called "triangle of life"! In recent years, an e-mail has circulated which has recommends potentially life threatening actions , and the source has been discredited by leading experts.