How to Prepare for an Earthquake

How to Prepare for an Earthquake


The earth tends to experience approximately 500,000 earthquakes every year, which are normally detected by relevant instruments. Almost 100 of these result to destruction, and 100,000 are always felt (Kusky 39). Earthquakes normally come with negative consequences once they hit. They result to destruction of property and death of people. Most of the deaths that happen are as a result of how people respond once there is an earthquake (Kusky 39). People need access to more information about earthquakes in order to be aware of what do in case one is experienced. Over the years, earthquakes have caused a lot of deaths, some of which could have been avoided.


”An earthquake is a geological event in which rock masses below the surface of the earth suddenly shift, releasing energy and sending out strong vibrations to the surface” (Environmental Encyclopedia).

Most earthquakes occur as a result of movements occurring along fault lines, which can be regarded as fractures in the earth’s crust.



Emergence of earthquakes has been associated with destruction of property on numerous occasions. In 1906, the San Francisco earthquake resulted to $524 million in property damage (Environmental Encyclopedia). Most of the damage came as a result of the ensuing fire resulting from the earthquake. The Long Beach earthquake of 1933 also resulted to destruction of property worth $50 million (Environmental Encyclopedia). This earthquake resulted to the enactment of the state’s Field Act that required strict building code standards in order to have strong structures. This was due to the damage that had been caused by the earthquake. This Chile, 1960 earthquake also resulted to damage of property worth $675 (Environmental Encyclopedia). All these examples show that earthquakes amount to destruction of properties worth quite a significant amount. Most people never get to recover from these losses.

Many people also die as a result of earthquakes. In 2010, the Haiti earthquake killed close to 300,000 people (Environmental Encyclopedia). The San Francisco earthquake on its part resulted to the death of 3,000 people and thousands were injured in the process. The Long Beach earthquake killed 120 people (Environmental Encyclopedia). This is just to mention a few examples. The deaths experienced are directly caused by the earthquakes, while others come as a result of indirect actions. This is more so on the actions that people take once the earthquakes strike.

Earthquakes also result to displacement of millions. Many people become homeless as a result of the earthquakes. Their homes are normally destroyed, and can no longer be deemed as habitable. This results to presence of internally displaced individuals within a country. Some areas are not even fit for habitation for a long time (Kusky 39). Most of the people involved lack insurance covers, so getting back on their fit becomes a problem. They have to move to other areas and start their lives there from scratch. The trauma involved during this period might even result to additional deaths. There are people who are not wired to respond well in case there are catastrophes.


In order to be on the safe side when an earthquake strikes, people need to make favorable preparations. This will ensure that many lives have been saved since deaths as a result of recklessness will be prevented (Kusky 39).

The preparations before an earthquake would involve people spending their time in places that are deemed safe (Ready). These are places that do not have the likelihood of being destroyed by an earthquake. Places without many structures or weak structures to be precise. People should also have a family emergency communication plan (Ready). The plan should be devised before the earthquake strikes. There are times when the earthquake results to more destruction than it would have been anticipated. This leads to the need of evacuating people. A family ought to have a plan of how to end up together in case such a thing happens. There are families that end separating as a result of such catastrophes and take a very long time to find each other. To some, it even takes years. People should also ensure that they have sufficient supplies of things that they use on a regular basis (Ready). No one knows the extent of the damage that is going to be caused. The supplies should be sufficient to last them a substantial amount of period, when things are back to normal.

During an earthquake, there are certain actions that people can take for them to remain safe. Among them is remaining in their initial positions until the tremors stop (Ready). Moving up and down may result to injuries that may end up being fatal, and maybe result to death. This is because there is an increased probability of being hit by moving objects. People should also be on their knees and hands to avoid the possibility of being knocked down (Ready). Landing on the ground head fast might result to severe brain damage or death.

After an earthquake, people should search for safety once the tremors are over. This includes places that are not likely to experience falling objects. In case someone is trapped, they should call for help (Ready).

The government should take the responsibility of informing people what to do. This would include information on where to report, what do with the destroyed property, areas that should not be accessed among other information (Kusky 39). There should be measures from the government too, on how to help the people that have been affected.


Earthquakes normally result to deaths, destruction of property and displacement of people. In 1960, the Chile earthquake resulted to destruction of property worth $675 million. Haiti earthquake on its part resulted to the deaths of almost 300,000 people. Most of these misfortunes would have been avoided if appropriate mechanisms were put in place.

Before an earthquake, people should ensure that they spend time in safe places, have a family emergency communication plan and ensure that they have stored critical supplies. During an earthquake it is advisable to remain in initial positions and be on one’s knees and hands to avoid the possibility of being knocked down. After the earthquake people should search for safety and call for help if trapped.

Taking the relevant precaution will result to saving lives. This is because some die during an earthquake, but not as a direct result. Sometimes it is due to the actions that they undertake when an earthquake strikes.


Works Cited

“Earthquake.” Environmental Encyclopedia. Gale, 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.           Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

“Earthquakes.” Ready. Department of Homeland Security, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

Kusky, Timothy M. Earthquakes: Plate Tectonics and Earthquake Hazards. New York: Facts       On File, 2010. Print.


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