Table of Contents Part B:  Background Information

EARTHQUAKE SAFETY

Read over the following material to gain a better understanding of
issues surrounding earthquake safety.


Page Index

Emergency Information

Damage Zones

What Is An Earthquake

Get Ready

Did You Know


Emergency Information

  1. The best protection during an earthquake is to get under heavy furniture such as a desk, table, or bench

  2. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls.

  3. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

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Danger Zone

Earthquakes occur most frequently west of the Rocky Mountains, although historically the most violent earthquakes have occurred in the central United States. All 50 states and all U.S. territories are vulnerable to earthquakes. Forty-one states or territories are at moderate to high risk.

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What Is An Earthquake?

An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the Earth's surface. This shaking can cause buildings and bridges to collapse; disrupt gas, electric, and phone service; and sometimes trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires, and huge, destructive ocean waves (tsunamis). Buildings with foundations resting on unconsolidated landfill, old waterways, or other unstable soil are most at risk. Buildings or trailers and manufactured homes not tied to a reinforced foundation anchored to the ground are also at risk since they can be shaken off their mountings during an earthquake. Earthquakes can occur at any time of the year.

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Help Your Community Get Ready

The media can raise awareness about earthquakes by providing important information to the community. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.

  2. Conduct a week-long series on locating hazards in the home.

  3. Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do during an earthquake.

  4. Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.

  5. Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies about shutting off utilities.

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DID YOU KNOW...

Page Index


Source:

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
http://www.fema.gov/fema/quakef.html

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Updated August 02, 2000