Alcalá View 1985 2.3

Safety Earthquake safety rules By Bill Munz I n an earthquake most casualties result from falling objects caused by partial building col- lapses, weakened masonry, broken light fixtures and flying glass. Other sources of injury are overturned bookcases, store fixtures, fires resulting from broken gas lines, fallen power lines and human reactions to panic. In this segment of my se- ries on earthquakes, we will cover procedures that should be followed before, during and after an earth- quake. By following these procedures, you will great- ly . enhance your personal safety in such an occur- rence. 1. Before an earthquake occurs: a. Check for earthquake hazards. Bolt down or provide strong support for water heaters and other appliances since fire can result from broken gas lines. Place large and heavy objects on lower shelves. Securely fas- ten shelves to walls. Brace or anchor tall or top-heavy objects.

a city of San Diego's size that seems highly debat- able. I recommend a two- week supply.

if there is a gas leak. Shut off e lectri cal power if there is dam- age to wiring. f. Do not use matches or open flame appliances if gas leaks are sus- pected. g. Do not operate electri- cal switches or appli- ances if gas leaks are suspected. h. Do not spread rumors. They often do great harm after disasters. i. Be prepared for "after shocks" which are usu- ally weaker than the main quake but possi- bly strong enough to cause additional dam- age. Stay out of se- verely damaged buildings. In the succeeding seg- ments I will cover the ef- fects of a Tsumani, emer- gency water supplies, wa- ter purification, emergency food supplies, shelf life for various food supplies and the location of various fault lines in San Diego and sur- rounding counties. • Seat Belts Seat belt use in Great Britain is mandatory with heavy fines for those not complying. To determine the effectiveness of this pol- icy a survey was conducted one year after enactment of the law. Hospitals reported a 48 percent drop in admis- sions due to trauma from auto accidents. •

2. During an

earthquake: a. Remain calm . Think through actions before you take them. Reas- sure others. b. If indoors, stay away from windows, mirrors and chimneys. Get un- der a table, desk, in a corner away from win- dows or in a strong doorway. It is best not to run outside. c. If outside, move rapidly but cautiously to an open area away from all hazards. d. When driving, stop in the safest place availa- ble. Never park under overpasses, power lines or a bridge. earthquake: a. Check your immediate area for injured per- sons. b. Check for fires and hazards. c. Wear heavy shoes be- c au s e of debris and broken glass. d. Do not touch downed power lines or objects touched by downed lines. e. Check utilities and ap- pliances for damage. Shut off main gas valve 3. After an

b. Hold earthquake drills to avoid panic and in- jury during an actual earthquake. c. Learn where to turn off electricity, gas and wa- ter at the mains should it become necessary. d. Keep a flashlight and a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries. e. Have an extinguisher available that can be used for a class A, B or C fire. f. Learn basic first aid training. Maintain an adequate first aid kit. g. Maintain a two-week supply of food. h. Maintain a two-week supply of water. The San Diego County Office of Disaster Prepared- ness says that in the event of a major earthquake, a three-day supply of food and water is adequate. It claims that emergency re- sources from across the U.S. would be available af- ter three days. However, for

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