Many of us have taken Malaysia to be a very safe country, in relation to major natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions, tornadoes, hailstorms or blizzards. Nobody expected the Sabah earthquake disaster. In fact, barely a week before the incident, many had flocked to cinemas to watch the earthquake-disaster movie “San Andreas”, never expecting something like that to happen here. It kinda of makes us wonder what other calamities nature has in store for us.
Before an Earthquake
- Have a flashlight and first-aid kit handy at home and in the workplace.
- A radio, extra batteries, several bottles of water and dry rations will come in handy too.
- Place heavier objects on lower shelves to prevent breakage and personal injury.
- Learn some basic first aid skills.
- Plan a meet-up point with family members in case of emergencies.
During an Earthquake
When an earthquake occurs, remember this:
Drop, Cover and Hold
Drop – Drop down to the floor, as low as you possibly can
Cover – Take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, or against a solid wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
Hold – Hold on tight to the furniture you are hiding under, and hold your position until the shaking stops and it is safe to move, or be prepared to move while holding onto it.
- Do not go near windows, mirrors, hanging objects, or tall furniture, as these may break/fall down on you during the quake and cause serious injury.
- If you are in a high rise building, do not use elevators.
- If you are outdoors, move to open ground if possible.
- If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road, and try to avoid overpasses, power lines, street lamps, road signs, and other hazards.
After an Earthquake
- Expect aftershocks from the earthquake, which may be smaller but no less destructive.
- Check for injuries and provide first aid if needed.
- Check gas, water, electrical lines, and appliances for damage and/or leaks.
- Switch off all the electricity.
- Do not light matches or open flame until you are sure there are no gas leaks.
- Check for building damage, and keep away from potential safety hazards like cracked walls and broken power/electrical wires.
If you’re not keen on reading, perhaps The Rock can convince you of preparing in case of an earthquake emergency.