I live along the West Coast and with the frequent Earthquakes worldwide, we are always reminded that the Big One along our Ring of Fire is due! Who lives along the Ring of Fire? See the map below.
My biggest fear is that it will hit when my boys are alone or perhaps an adult they are with is severely hurt which would leave them alone as well. It could very well happen and when it does, Are Your Children Prepared for an Earthquake Emergency. All the more reason to talk Earthquake safety with your kids today! You can have the conversation without scaring them, perhaps you spend a day calming their fears, but worth it anyhow in my opinion. A mind that can be turned on to some critical thinking skills learned in a conversation in the past can mean the difference between life or death. Same goes for a Fire plan or Hurricane safety.
The first question you may want to help your child answer is where to take cover the moment they feel an earthquake. I cannot totally answer that for you. You will need to evaluate your home and find the common sense spaces to alert your child to head to in an earthquake. If you live in a multi-level home or a very large home, you will need a safety spot in more than one location. Here are some things to consider when finding a safe spot to take cover…
- Away from windows or mirrors
- Close to an exit
- Under a sturdy desk or table
- Away from heavy objects that could fall off walls or shelves
Yes! You may find you really have no safe spot and perhaps rearranging a room a tiny bit can create one. Do it! You do not want them near glass that can shatter around them causing harm as they escape. As well, you do not want to put them under a flimsy table beside a heavy bookshelf-I’m sure you can create a mental image of how that could end! Finding a spot close to an exit will help them if they become stuck to yell for help and be nearby for others to hear. Practice with them on taking cover. Crouch down hold the table-so it does not get away from them- and cover their heads. See the photo above! There is also a video in my post: Be Prepared for an Earthquake Disaster.
- Aftershocks-can be terrifying when they were not expecting more shaking
- Power lines-take them outside-show them and educate DO NOT TOUCH WHEN DOWN
- Possibility of fires-older children can be shown where gas shut off is.
- Glass and fallen objects
- Structure instability if building has damage-move slow, but get out
Finding videos that talk to children can help them understand earthquakes. Here is a fun and educational video I found: What is An Earthquake?-Learn Series for kids
Related post: Lessons for Kids in a Natural Disaster