This week’s post is recipe-free. I’m deviating from the standard to talk about earthquake preparedness.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m the only Chicklet who lives in Virginia. Not only do I live in the Commonwealth, but I live 45 miles from Mineral, the epicenter of the 8/23/11 5.8 earthquake.
Besides being a Gluten-Free mom, I’m also a former American Red Cross Disaster Worker. I spent years training people how to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. So talking about what to do in a disaster comes second-nature.
Rather than talk about my experience in the earthquake, I want to educate people about what to do if the earth starts shaking. There are three simple rules that apply regardless of where you are.
- If you’re inside, climb under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a desk. (The experts no longer recommend standing in doorways. Under sturdy furniture is safest.)
- If you’re outside, find a clear space and drop, cover and hold on.
- If you’re in your vehicle, stop driving, remain buckled in and wait for the shaking to stop.
If you find yourself in the middle of an earthquake, be aware of falling objects. We’ve probably all seen the pictures of the National Cathedral’s spires missing from the top. But be aware of falling rocks from cliffs outside. Inside, bookcases can topple, ceilings can weaken and chip, pictures and objects in high places can fall.
Protect yourself. Drop, cover and hold on.
After an earthquake it’s common for cell lines to be jammed. If you can send an email, do it. Sometimes it’s easier to text than to call. Have an out-of-state contact and text or email that person. Let your out-of-state contact post news about you to friends and family.
Yesterday, I discovered I had two out-of-state contacts. A family member in Maryland who notified my family. And a friend in Florida who notified other friends.
FYI: The out-of-state contacts are good to have in case of any emergency.
So if another earthquake hits, don’t panic, don’t run. Drop, cover and hold on!
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back next week with a new gluten-free recipe!