How-to: Rumble when your building crumbles

Living in Southern California is a wonderful thing. California Baptist University is located about one hour from cultural hot spots; Disneyland, Malibu Beach, beautiful San Bernardino mountains and downtown Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, Southern California also happens to be notorious for major earthquakes.

With recent seismic activity in Baja California, Indonesia, Philippines and Fiji, it is important to be prepared before, during and after an earthquake.

There are many books and resources, such as www.fema.gov, that offer more detailed tips on how to prepare for an emergency. Compiled below is a list of the most important things to remember:

Before:
-Evacuation plan: For students living on campus, each living area has an evacuation plan in place. Talk to your Resident Advisor (RA) for information on where to go in an emergency.

-Food and water: Try to have at least three days worth of food and a week’s worth of water readily available. Keep a case of bottled water, box of cereal bars and other nonperishable goods in a safe, cool and dry area. Also, remember when the food expires. Bad food will not be useful in an emergency situation.

-Emergency bag: Get a small duffle bag and put about three days worth of clothes in it. Many people do not think about packing clothes and sturdy shoes if they must evacuate an area in a rush. Also, make sure to pack a flashlight with extra batteries, a radio that can pick up AM stations and some extra cash safely inside this bag.

-Phone-a-friend: Find a friend or relative that lives in another state or country. In the event of a major earthquake, phone lines will be down and the possibility of driving might be impossible. If you have family that lives locally, it may be difficult to get a hold of them. Having a contact that does not live close to the disaster area can be very beneficial. When you are able to start communicating again, find a way to message your contact. They can, in turn, relay the message to your family who are close, but unable to hear from you.

-Know the area: Inspect where you live. Are there any potential barriers or possible hazards in the area? Do you have many hanging objects over or near your bed? Are the bunk beds safely put together? These are questions that need to be asked and addressed.

-First-Aid: Along with your clothes, make sure to pack a First-Aid kit. Emergency help may not be readily available after a major earthquake, so try to be prepared for injuries. First-aid and CPR training are available year-long through hospitals or the Red Cross. A simple Google search can find a training center nearby.

During:
-Focus: Stay as calm as possible.

-Get out: If it is at all possible, find an open field. This is the safest place to be in the event of an earthquake. If not, find a sturdy table to duck under and go into the fetal position. Make sure to cover your neck and head.

After:
-Grab the essentials: Grab the emergency bag. Get the food and water. These should be the only things you take, except maybe a wallet or purse to hold identification cards.

-Get out: Find the nearest open area. Typically, smaller earthquakes aftershocks occur within 24 hours of the initial earthquake. As mentioned earlier, an open field is the safest spot during earthquakes.

-Make a call: If it is possible, call your family and out-of-state contact. If an earthquake is big enough, it will be on the news within minutes, if not seconds. Let your loved ones know that you are safe.

Hopefully, nobody will ever have to put this particular “how- to” to work. But, in case of a major earthquake, it is beneficial to be ready.

If there is anything you want to know “how-to” do, send an email to ajlacuesta@cbubanner. com.

Leave a Reply