How to survive “The Big One” even if you’re not prepared
Did you know that 60% of Americans do not have any disaster precautions in place?
This statement was released in April 2015 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. I’ve been in this business for more than 30 years and I’ve seen people who believe that a big one is coming, as the saying goes “It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when“, but these same folks do nothing to prepare for it.
Learning how to survive an earthquake when you didn’t prepare in advance is definitely going to make your life much more difficult following the tremor.
Earthquakes begin to cause damage at around 4.0 magnitude on the Richter Scale resulting in broken dishes and knick knacks. Then above 7.0 damages increase and we can begin to see the advantages of our home preparation at work… but if you’re one of those folks that didn’t have “time” to prepare, how could you still survive?
Taking the correct actions immediately after the shaking
Remember every wrong step you make will compound the problem and things will continue to get worse, chaotic and out of control. So how you respond, will change everything.
So, as much as I would love for you to get prepared, I will instead just tell you how to respond to a disaster situation.
When the opportunity to get prepared has passed, and you’ve got to make some very important and critical decisions quickly, you must do the following.
The First 15 Minutes (AFTER an Earthquake)
These steps could save your family and your property, it’s very important that you do these steps in the first 15 minutes after an earthquake.
During an earthquake, you should DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON. Do not run, you cannot outrun an earthquake. You need to stay safe and stay calm. By doing the Drop, Cover, and Hold On position, you will be able to plan your next move and hopefully remember the steps that I’m about to tell you.
Are you ready?
1. CHECK ON INJURIES AND EVACUATE
Do not clean up the debris yet, check everyone for injuries first and get out the house immediately. Stay outside in an open area until the house is deemed to safe from aftershocks. Of course, it would of helped if you had a first aid kit. But since you don’t, be prepared to improvise.
When you are faced with multiple injuries, don’t get overwhelmed. First quickly check your victims for the 3 life-threatening conditions, Breathing, Bleeding, and Shock (unresponsiveness). These are the major causes of death so they can’t wait. You can watch my free life-training video here, but I made a graphic version to show you how they should be treated.
2. CHECK UTILITIES AND STRUCTURAL DAMAGE
Go around the house to find any leaks and collapse, leaning or large cracks in your home.
I haven’t made a video for the water meter and electrical meter but I made this simple illustration.
So once you’ve completed these steps, you’re in the clear.
You can go back inside and start cleaning up. 🙂
Captain Wayne Bennett (Ret.) is the founder of Disaster Survival Skills, LLC. and is also a retired professional firefighter and disaster preparedness coordinator who recognized a need for a one-day training on how everyone should respond to a disaster. From that moment forward the commitment has been to develop, refine and perfect techniques and strategies that everyone can use. In addition to training, Disaster Survival Skills, LLC. provides practical and realistic supplies that support their training. There is no fluff or waste in their kits, but rather items that can and will be used by your employees in an emergency.