Earthquake Safety Tips
In the video footage that emerged after the 6.6-magnitude earthquake in Izmir, it was seen that most citizens did not know what to do during the earthquake, they tried to hold things instead of creating a triangle of life in a safe area, or remained unable to move. Melahat Kızıl, Lecturer at Paramedic Program, Vocational School of Health Services, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), gave advice on what to do before and during the earthquake.
Reminding that Turkey is an active earthquake zone, Kızıl said that it is not known when the earthquake will occur and that being prepared will save lives. Stating that learning first aid will always work, Kızıl said that it would be beneficial to prepare a bag with first aid materials, flashlight, battery-operated radio, portable charger for phones and place it by the bedside.
MAKE A PLAN WITH YOUR FAMILY
Kızıl, who advised to know how to disconnect gas, water and electricity connections in homes, said, “Make a plan of where to meet your family after the earthquake. Do not leave heavy objects on shelves as these items will fall off during an earthquake. Fasten heavy furniture, cabinets and items to walls or floors. Fasten heavy furniture and shelving units to avoid tipping. Keep heavy items on lower shelves. Stick mirrors, pictures and other hanging objects firmly so that they do not fall off the hooks. Place beds and chairs away from chimneys and windows. Do not hang heavy pictures and other items over the beds. Closed curtains and blinds will help prevent broken window glass from falling onto the beds. Use childproof locks or safety latches on cabinets to prevent contents from spilling. Learn the earthquake plan of your school or workplace and practice it. Install the whistle app on your mobile phones.”
STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS
Stating that it is of utmost importance to remain calm during an earthquake, and suggesting that a triangle of life should be created next to heavy furniture in a way to protect the head in case of being indoors, Kızıl listed what should be done during an earthquake:
“First, stay calm. Sit or crouch next to items such as a sofa, bed, couch, refrigerator, washing machine, or dishwasher in a way to protect the head. Stay away from windows and exterior doors. Doors may slam shut, windowpanes may break and cause injury. If you are outside, stay away from power lines or anything that may fall. Do not use matches, candles or any kind of flame. If there is a gas leak, a fire may occur. If you are in a car, stop the car and pull it to a safe place where you are not blocking the road. Avoid bridges, overpasses and underpasses, buildings, or anything that could collapse. Do not use an elevator as it will probably get stuck. If you are in an elevator during an earthquake, press the button for each floor and exit as quickly as possible. Stay away from the beaches. If the sea receded, make sure to get away from there. Earthquakes can trigger massive ocean waves called tsunamis.” Kızıl emphasized that if the earthquake occurs while at school and at work, the emergency plan or the instructions of the persons in charge should be followed.