Just as we approach the 1 year anniversary of San Diego’s 7.2 Easter earthquake, Japan has been hit by an 8.9 quake that lasted an unbelievable 5 minutes and triggered a tsunami. Scary enough if you’re only worried about saving yourself in such a situation, but for those of us with children who depend on us for survival, it can be terrifying to think about that kind of natural disaster.
So today’s article offers a few tips on how to prepare yourself, your home and your children for an earthquake.
1. Take a first aid class and learn CPR.
2. Plan with your kids…children as young as age 3 can learn the basics about safe and unsafe spots in your home. For example, teach them to move away from windows and mirrors that might shatter in an earthquake, move away from bookcases and heavy furniture that might topple over, crawl under a desk or heavy piece of furniture or stand against an inside wall.
3. Teach your child how to dial 911.
4. Teach your child to, in the case of a night time quake, stay in his bed and cover his head with a pillow until the shaking stops.
5. Prepare your home as best as you can with an emergency kit supplied with non perishable foods, water, medicines, batteries, can openers, flashlights, etc.
6. Secure your tall furniture to the wall to help prevent it from toppling over.
7. Be sure your water heater is strapped to the wall to help prevent tip overs and gas leaks.
8. Brace your overhead light fixtures.
9. Learn how to shut off your gas, water and electricity.
10. Avoid hanging glass picture frames, mirrors or shelves above your child’s bed or crib. Also, don’t place beds and cribs near windows and bookcases.
For more information about ways you can prepare for a disaster, visit www.FEMA.gov. Also, you can contact Baby Safe Homes here in San Diego for advice on the best equipment to use to secure furniture, hang pictures, etc. www.babysafehomes.com.