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What to do when an earthquake happens? Strongest earthquake ever hits DC

August 23, 2011

Today we had an earthquake in the Washington, DC, area, the strongest registered in the city’s history with a 5.8 to 6 intensity earthquake.

Cellphones were not working, the DC Metro system almost collapsed, two nuclear plants were shut down, the National Cathedral suffered damages, and the U.S. government might be closed tomorrow.

People are freaking out, a The Washington Post journalist thought it was a bomb hitting the White House.

 I have never experienced an earthquake in 15 years I have living in the U.S., but when I was growing up in Peru I witnessed earthquakes and tremors every other month or so. I can remember 3-4 huge earthquakes when the floor was shaking in weaves, I couldn’t even walk and I’m no kidding. We were taught since elementary school how to react when an earthquake occurs.
My friends in DC are concerned, telling me this is their first earthquake ever, some are afraid and one of them wrote in my Facebook:
  • My house shook so badly that dishes shifted, pots and things fell, and the trees swayed as if they were going to uproot and run!!! After I wondered how it was all still standing!

So I thought I should write something about what to do in this case. This is my modest advice.

1- You know an earthquake is coming when your pets become all silent and vigilant, especially dogs. No barking. Then you hear a sound from underground, like loud cars.

2- Stop what you doing, get down to the floor and find a safe refugee from anything that can fall.

3- Relax, earthquakes are natural events (most likely) and there is nothing you can do to stop them. But you can be smart about it and prevent accidents or injuries. For that, you need to be calm and think.

2- Be ready to leave your building at any time, when evacuation is mandatory and urgent, but don’t panic. Cover your head with your hands, look ahead.

4- Stay permanently ALERT. After an earthquake usually come the after shocks or if you are in a coastal area there can be tsunamis.  Pay attention to the news.

5- When everything calms down, prepare food, medicines and the most important things you want to save in case of emergency. Focus on what your priorities are, in case another earthquake occurs later.

6- Contact your loved ones and neighbors, let them know you are okay and ask about them. This can lead into more organized actions to help others. Solidarity is extremely important when natural disasters occur.

7- Please, don’t ever mix religions with earthquakes. Pray all you want, they will still happen.

8- Smile and shake that tremor away.

I hope this helped.

Please check these links (including FEMA’s list) on What To Do in an Earthquake

Remember that after an earthquake, often you will see changes in people moods, weather, things happening around you, it’s the energy of our mother Earth. Or was it HAARP again?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Karla permalink
    August 23, 2011 2:34 pm

    Buenos consejos para los que nunca experimentaron un temblor o terremoto y tambien para los que ya sabemos.

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