Rumble, rumble, rumble ... The earth is shaking beneath your feet.
You are standing inside your house, the dog is going crazy, the kids are at school and your spouse is at work. What do you do now?
Welcome to my new blog, UP Public Safety! My name is Edward Wood, a member of the Public Safety Commission for the City of UP. I intend to use this forum to discuss all issues public safety, from what to do in an earthquake to what our local police and fire are doing for us.
So back to that earthquake... let’s have a quiz! Should you:
A. Crawl under a desk or table?
B. Run outside?
C. Scream and panic?
D. Close your eyes and pretend that the rocking motion is mommy pushing the cradle you really wish you were in right now?
The answer is (drum roll, please): A. Crawl under a desk or table. Your best bet is to find the nearest solid piece of furniture and get underneath it, hang on onto the legs, close your eyes and wait it out. If the furniture looks like it was made out of cardboard or isn’t readily available to your location, your next best bet is to crouch down by an interior corner away from glass, shelves, and overhead light fixtures and wrap your arms over your head.
Why not run outside, you ask? Pieces of buildings fall long before the buildings themselves do. Roof tiles slip off, chimneys crumble, gargoyles discover that their stone wings are useless, etc. When you run outside, you expose yourself to those falling hazards.
For more detailed info, check out this link to what FEMA recommends: http://www.ready.gov/earthquakes
Once the quake has stopped, you will be relieved to be OK, followed immediately by concern for your loved ones, then concern for how to survive the next few days while the power is out. Then you think about how you followed this crazy UP Public Safety blog that taught you how to make a kit, develop a plan, and stay informed, and waves of relief sweep over you because you know everything is going to be fine. (Yes, I am an optimist by nature, even if paranoia is part of my profession.)
If you haven't guessed yet, the subject of my next blog will be Making a Kit.
So, how have you reacted in an earthquake? During the Nisqually Quake in 2001 I was unfortunate to be caught in an old building I am convinced was built before such a thing as earthquake codes existed. Fortunately, I was able to shelter under a granite table with reinforced steel legs and ride out the waves. Even if the building had collapsed (I’m very grateful it didn’t), I had a decent chance at rescue. I’m curious...what did you do during the Nisqually Quake? Any confessions out there? Comment and let me know!
All things public safety are fair game in this blog. I am open to suggestions, questions and comments. Thanks for reading!