In the wake of the aftereffects of climate change and global warming, the world is constantly threatened by natural disasters. According to the latest figures, Pakistan being the 5th most populated country in the world after China, India, the United States, and Indonesia, makes it one of the most vulnerable countries in terms of climate change because of a lack of proper governance, resources, and infrastructure.
According to the Climate Risk Index 2021, Pakistan ranks eighth among the countries most affected by extreme weather events between 2000 and 2019. These natural disasters include earthquakes, floods, droughts, locust attacks, and heatwaves causing massive internal displacements in the population.
Cesvi Pakistan is working extensively to aware the local population in different districts of Sindh mitigate damages caused by reoccurring natural disasters with the financial support of ECHO (European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations).
This article is part of an ongoing effort to aware masses of the upcoming threat of earthquakes and how simple precautions can ensure the safety of their lives.
Here are 5 practical steps to take for evading the impacts of an earthquake.
1. Learn the Safe Spots
Recognize the secure areas in each room of your home. If you are already in bed, a safe place to hide can be underneath a study table that is away from walls or under your covers with a pillow over your head.
2. Plan and Practice WHAT TO DO if an Earthquake Strikes
Practice an earthquake drill as a family, especially if you have young children. By taking part in an earthquake drill, you and your loved ones can learn what to do if you are separated from them during an earthquake.
3. Drop, Cover, and Hold On during Your Earthquake Drill
Immediately DROP down on your hands and knees. While preventing you from falling, this position nevertheless permits you to move if necessary.
COVER your head, neck, and, if you can, your entire body, underneath a solid desk or table. If there isn’t any nearby shelter, crouch down next to an interior wall or beside some low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you, cover your head and neck with your arms, and take refuge there. Avoid being near windows, glass, or other potentially dangerous objects.
Until the shaking stops, HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck). If the shaking causes your shelter to move, be ready to move with it.
4. Create an Evacuation Plan
Spend a few minutes developing an evacuation strategy for your house with your family. Make a floor map of your house, go through each room, and go through the specifics of the evacuation. Know the information about the flood zone if you live downstream of a dam.
If you can, think of a second method to leave each room or space. Mark the location of any specialized equipment, such as a rope ladder, if you require it.
Mark the locations of the fire extinguishers and your emergency supply kit, which should include food, water, and first aid supplies.
5. Create an emergency supply kit
Stock up on items that you can utilize in case of an earthquake. A first aid box and emergency supply kit for the house, complete with water and food in case of an emergency, should be among these items. Stock up on goods that will last at least 3 days.
Additionally, you should compile any necessary paperwork and prepare a list of crucial information (such as emergency contact information and documents like medical documents, birth certificates, and passports). Keep these things in a safe place, such as a fireproof or watertight safe.
In addition to your normal emergency supplies bag, the following additional things could be useful in the event of an earthquake:
- An axe
- A shovel
- A rope for towing or rescue
- Sturdy shoes that can protect broken glass, nails, and other debris
- Gloves (heavy and durable for cleaning up debris)
- Fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry chemical type)
- A whistle or other signaling device carried in your purse or backpack
These are the practical steps that are essential to avoid the loss of life and possessions in times of an earthquake. If these essential steps are followed, multiple lives can be saved.