Are We Ready - How to Prepare Yourself

Are We Ready - How to Prepare Yourself
By: Jeff Cunningham

Experts agree

,
the natural disaster for which the
H
eartland is most at risk is a major earthquake.
W
e all live in the
N
ew
M
adrid seismic zone.
A
very active area even if you don't feel it.
I
n fact, just since last week five small quakes have rumbled
H
eartland cities along the
N
ew
M
adrid fault.

T

he fact that we don't feel the 200 or so small earthquakes we have annually in the
H
eartland makes some of us a bit complacent.

B

ut experts say this area will have a major earthquake sometime in the future and those who study the potential are getting their families prepared and they say you
should too
.

E

arthquakes happen without warning
: like in S
an
F
rancisco
in
1906
and I
ndia
in
2001.
A
ll over the world earthquakes occur and can be devastating.

S

cientists at the
C
enter for
E
arthquake
R
esearch and
I
nformation in
M
emphis explain it like this
. T
he earth's surface is broken up into 12 to 15 huge plates.
A
long the edges of the plates, there is a lot of earthquake activity.
W
e live in the center of the
N
orth
A
merican plate and
this is why
our area is so active
. But it
is still a bit of a mystery.

M

ost
of the earthquakes around here are
too small to be felt
,
but scientists say our percentage for having a major quake range from 7-10 percent to 25 to 40 percent.
T
heir advice
,
prepare your family.

E

xperts say there are three important things for each of us to do
. B
uild an emergency kit, have a emergency plan and get first aid training.

F

irst, the emergency kit.
I
t should contain things like canned food, flashlights, batteries, blankets, and water to sustain you for at least 72 hours.
I
t c
ould
take that long or longer before we can expect outside help after a natural disaster.
O
ther water sources in your home include the water heater and the
tank on your toilet.

S

econd, have an emergency plan.
T
alk to your
children
and family members about a safety spot to go to if there is an earthquake.
One suggestion is u
nder a table or a something strong and hold on to it because it can move.
G
et away from large objects that would fall like chimneys and entertainment centers.
A
lso, it's likely an earthquake could happen while kids are at school.
T
ell you kids who is authorized to pick them up from school and have a meeting place set in case you aren't able to contact them.

F

inally, get the proper training.
T
he
American
R
ed
C
ross offers training in first aid and
CPR
.

I

f you would like to buy a ready made emergency kit, the
R
ed
C
ross offers them.
The also offer
a list of things you need in your kit if you want to make it yourself.