What to do in an earthquake?

Earthquakes can happen at any time, like the one that occurred this morning. So you must be prepared and explain to the children what to do so that they are not afraid.

Inside the earth, there are rocks; when they collide, they break, and the energy released generates waves, which make the earth move; these movements are called earthquakes, states the National Seismological Service (SSN).

So that the tremors do not take you by surprise, it would help if you made an action plan as a family; with this, you can stay safe. These are some recommendations by Civil Protection before an earthquake.

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Prevention measures

  • Locate safe areas: Whether at home or outside, identity where they can take shelter during an earthquake.
  • Have important documents on hand: Keep your children’s IDs and birth certificates or vaccination records in a plastic envelope.
  • Emergency backpack: Keep medications, canned food, a flashlight, water, and a first aid kit.
  • Identify evacuation routes: You need to know how to get out as soon as possible or, if appropriate, the safest shelter areas.
  • Drills: Participate with your children in these activities to be familiar with what to do in an earthquake.
  • Involve your children: Get them involved in the family action plan. Teach them what the safety zones are and that they should be careful with windows, wires, furniture, and objects that can fall.
Children should know how to act in an earthquake. Photo: Civil Protection
Children should know how to act in an earthquake. Photo: Civil Protection

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Actions during earthquakes

  • Keep calm: If your children see you calm, they will be too and face the quake with less stress.
  • Do not run or push: You can hurt someone or make them fall.
  • Stay away from windows and furniture: Glass can break and hurt you, while furniture can topple over in motion.
  • Look for safe areas: At home, they should stand at the beams or load-bearing walls, which are more stable. Outside, stay away from trees, light poles, or power lines.
  • Do not use elevators or stairs: If you are in a building with many floors, it is best not to use the elevator or stairs.

After the earthquake

  • Check your home: Identify if there are fractures or cracks in the walls.
  • Leaks: Look for gas and water pipes to check for leaks.
  • Listen to the news: Find out if the earthquake causes damage.
  • Validate your children’s feelings: Stay alert to their emotions: reassure them, listen to them and tell them that you are always by their side.

Remember that the most important thing is always to take care of the lives of all family members. Teach your mischievous these measures.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version: Here