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Tips for Preventing an Injury During an Earthquake

Natural disasters in California have made headlines many times in the past year. Californians have had to survive everything from record-breaking wildfires to deadly mudslides. One of the most prevalent natural disasters in The Golden State is the earthquake – as residents near Berkeley were reminded with a 4.4-magnitude quake on January 4, 2018. This earthquake didn’t cause much more than a mild rumble, but other quakes in the region could cause much worse damage in the future. Keep yourself and your family safe by knowing how to prevent injury during an earthquake.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On

The three keywords to remember in the event of a more serious earthquake are drop, cover, and hold. If you’re inside a building during an earthquake, stay put. Do not try to run outside or into other rooms while shaking persists. Instead, drop to your hands and knees to prevent falling down. Our San Jose slip and fall attorneys know falls can cause serious injuries such as wrist and hip fractures. You are typically safer staying where you are than trying to walk or run to a different location.

Use a sturdy piece of furniture to cover as much of your body as possible. A strong table or desk is ideal. Cover at least your head and neck, and keep your head down to prevent injuries to the eyes. If you do not see any suitable structure for cover nearby, get down low near a piece of furniture that won’t fall on you in the shaking, and use your arms to cover your head and neck. Hold onto the piece of furniture providing shelter over your head and neck until the shaking stops.

Move Away from Sources of Falling or Flying Debris

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most serious injuries and deaths related to earthquakes come from flying objects or falling pieces of material. Getting under a table can help you stay safe from these sources of injury. Do not stand in a doorway. This method used to prove handy when door frames were stronger than other elements in a house. Nowadays, the rest of the house is just as strong as the doorway. Instead, get under cover to stay safe from falling or flying debris.

Keep a safe distance from television sets, refrigerators, chimneys, bookshelves, glass windows, light fixtures, hanging objects, heavy objects, and anything else that could potentially fall on you or shatter in an earthquake. Watch out for falling objects, and keep your arms and hands over your head if you cannot find cover. Something striking your head could cause a serious or fatal brain injury. If there is something nearby you can use as a shield in case of flying objects, do so.

Prepare Your Home for an Earthquake

Preparation can make all the difference in how you and your family survive a major earthquake. Select safe places for you all to take cover, such as a table or desk against an interior wall. Practice dropping to the floor and taking cover in your safe place. Learn where your local evacuation and safety shelters are in your community. Keep a pantry full of water bottles, non-perishable food items, and an emergency first aid kit in case an earthquake or other natural disaster traps you at home. Consider taking first aid training at your local Red Cross. Training can help you remain calm and take immediate action in the event of an earthquake.

If you do suffer an injury because of an earthquake, or other natural disaster, the San Jose personal injury attorneys at Henshaw & Henry are ready to help you rebuild your life.