Below we publish The New Zealand Government preparedness measures for earthquakes.
To be earthquake prepared, people should read these measures again and again. They can save your life.
These preparedness measures also apply for the entire world.
There is no difference in between an earthquake in New Zealand, Japan, Chile, Spain, Serbia or Russia.
You can take some simple steps to reduce the danger to yourself, your family, and property when earthquakes occur.
1. Before an earthquake
¢ Identify safe places very close to you at home, school or workplace, such as under a sturdy table, or next to an interior wall.
¢ Develop a Household Emergency Plan and have emergency survival items so that you can cope on your own for at least three days
¢ Protect property - secure objects and your homes and keep insurance up to date
2. During an earthquake
¢ Move no more than a few steps to a safe place, drop, cover, and hold on.
Do not attempt to run outside (unless you are living in an old concrete structure **)
$ If outside, move no more than a few steps to a safe place, drop, cover, and hold. Stay away as far as possible from building wall (falling objects are one of the major reasons people get killed or severely injured)
$ If in a lift, stop at the nearest floor and get out
$ If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road. Stay in the vehicle until the shaking stops
$ Walk to an outside safe place when the shaking has stopped. Stay there
3. After an earthquake
$ Expect aftershocks and help those around you if you can
$ Report injuries or fires to the emergency services.
$ Put out small fires. Evacuate the building if the fires cannot be controlled.
$ Listen to the radio for advice and information.
$ If your property is damaged, take notes or photos for the loss adjustor.
$ Do not go sightseeing and stay out of damaged buildings
** unless you are living in an old concrete structure
Kit Miyamoto, CEO of Miyamoto International, who is currently in Mexico City working on collapsed sites, says that, “Old concrete structures are one of the most dangerous building types on earth. Their inadequate reinforcing details make the concrete very brittle under seismic motion. All damaged buildings we saw [in Mexico City after the Puebla earthquake] were this type. You know how we teach people in California to duck under a desk during an earthquake? If I’m in a nonductile concrete structure, I will run outside as fast as I can. Hundreds were saved here in Mexico City by running out of nonductile concrete structures. That’s how Mexicans are trained. That’s what I would do in these buildings. No question about it.” (Credit Temblor.net)
If you are in a coastal area and feel an earthquake that lasts 20 seconds or longer AND/OR if you see a noticeable rapid rise or fall in coastal waters., ALWAYS AUTO-EVACUATE:
- Drop, cover and hold on. You should first protect yourself from the earthquake.
- When the shaking stops, gather members of your household and move quickly to higher ground away from the coast. A tsunami may be coming within minutes.
- Avoid downed power lines and stay away from buildings and bridges from which heavy objects might fall during an aftershock.
What to Do During a Tsunami Watch
- Use a NOAA Weather Radio or tune to a Coast Guard emergency frequency station or a local radio or television station for updated emergency information.
- Locate household members and review evacuation plans. Be ready to move quickly if a tsunami warning is issued.
What to Do During a Tsunami Warning
- If you hear an official tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once.
- Take your emergency preparedness kit. Having supplies will make you more comfortable during the evacuation.
- Take your pets with you. If it is not safe for you, it’s not safe for them.
- Get to higher ground as far inland as possible. Be careful : Watching a tsunami could put you in grave danger. If you can see the wave, you are too close to escape it.
Tsunami Alert levels
In most countries there are 3 tsunami alert levels : advisory, watch and warning.
Advisory : (Strong currents likely) A tsunami advisory is issued when a tsunami with the potential to generate strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or very near the water is imminent, expected, or occurring.
The threat may continue for several hours after initial arrival, but significant inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Appropriate actions to be taken by local officials may include closing beaches, evacuating harbors and marinas, and the repositioning of ships to deep waters when there is time to safely do so. Advisories are normally updated to continue the advisory, expand/contract affected areas, upgrade to a warning, or cancel the advisory.
Watch : (Danger level not known yet) A tsunami watch is issued to alert emergency management officials and the public of an event which may later impact the watch area. The watch area may be upgraded to a warning or advisory - or canceled - based on updated information and analysis. Therefore, emergency management officials and the public should prepare to take action. Watches are normally issued based on seismic information without confirmation that a destructive tsunami is underway.
Warning : (Inundating wave possible) A tsunami warning is issued when a tsunami with the potential to generate widespread inundation is imminent, expected, or occurring. Warnings alert the public that dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents is possible and may continue for several hours after initial arrival. Warnings alert emergency management officials to take action for the entire tsunami hazard zone. Appropriate actions to be taken by local officials may include the evacuation of low-lying coastal areas, and the repositioning of ships to deep waters when there is time to safely do so. Warnings may be updated, adjusted geographically, downgraded, or canceled. To provide the earliest possible alert, initial warnings are normally based only on seismic information.
Information statement : A tsunami information statement is issued to inform emergency management officials and the public that an earthquake has occurred, or that a tsunami warning, watch or advisory has been issued for another section of the ocean. In most cases, information statements are issued to indicate there is no threat of a destructive tsunami and to prevent unnecessary evacuations as the earthquake may have been felt in coastal areas. An information statement may, in appropriate situations, caution about the possibility of destructive local tsunamis. Information statements may be re-issued with additional information, though normally these messages are not updated. However, a watch, advisory or warning may be issued for the area, if necessary, after analysis and/or updated information becomes available.
Some text courtesy American Red Cross
Very important Shake Out earthquake preparedness Videos.
Please watch them. Knowing what to do can save your life.
VIDEO 1 - What to do when an earthquake strikes When You're in Bed
VIDEO 2 - What to do when an earthquake strikes If You're Near a Sturdy Desk or Table
VIDEO 3 - What to do when an earthquake strikes If There's NO Sturdy Desk or Table
VIDEO 4 - What to do when an earthquake strikes If You're Near the Shore
VIDEO 5 - What to do when an earthquake strikes If You're in a Stadium or Theater
VIDEO 6 - What to do when an earthquake strikes When You're Driving
VIDEO 7 - Mega-thrust tsunamis - Understand the mechanism and EVACUATE TO HIGHER GROUND