Prepping Your Team for an Earthquake
Even if you do not live in an area particularly susceptible to earthquakes, such as California, it does not mean you’re in the clear. Experts say there’s a 97 percent chance of a major earthquake in a zone that includes Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky. There was a 6.8 earthquake in Washington State in 2001. A strong earthquake is sudden and can cause catastrophic damage. Buildings that are not prepared for earthquakes can collapse, killing and injuring inhabitants. Earthquakes can be uniquely destructive for construction sites and industrial facilities that contain large equipment and hazardous substances.
- Rumbling or roaring sound growing louder
- Rolling that gets violent
- A jarring, violent jolt
- Destabilizing shaking
Earthquake HazardsAn earthquake is triggered by rock shifting and breaking beneath the Earth’s surface. Some hazards include:
- Bridge and building collapse
- Utilities disruption
- Flash floods
Planning, Preparing, and PracticingThorough preparation is the key to surviving an earthquake without injuries or fatalities. People often freeze during an emergency as they try to remember what they’re supposed to do. But if they know what to expect and have practiced the proper responses many times before a catastrophe, they’re much more likely to avoid injury and help others.
What to Do During an EarthquakeDuring drills, have people practice dropping under a safe place, protecting their faces, and holding on to a table leg. Practice drop, cover, and hold-on at least twice a year. It will become an automatic response the more it’s practiced. Quick responses during earthquakes can prevent injuries. During earthquakes, remember:
- Go to the safe place and drop, cover, and hold-on.
- Employees should wait in the safe place until the shaking stops.
- Check to see if you are hurt, then check the people around you.
- Watch out for fallen and broken objects.
- Be ready for aftershocks.
- Beware of fires, the most common earthquake-related hazard.
- Use the stairs, not the elevator.
- Employees outside during the quake should stay outside away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines.