Earthquake is an emergency situation in which things can get quite serious for the people living in the affected area. Lack of preparedness and lack of action at the time of need can increase fatality rate in an earthquake situation. While normal people can respond to such situations in a pretty efficient manner, real issues are for the people with mobility issues.And it is worth mentioning here that earthquake preparedness requirements for people with mobility issues are pretty different from those for normal people who can act fast.
Earthquake preparedness is different for people with disabilities
Earthquake can hit any area at any time. In these situations, mobility issues as well as other disabilities can make thing even more complicated. Therefore, it is pretty much important to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.
For people with disability, it is pretty much important to get to safety and evacuating during an earthquake.
One of the solutions during an emergency situation is to drop on the floor, find a cover and hold the position until the earthquake is over. However, the people who have injuries in their backs are rarely able to get out of the cover once the earthquake is over.
If you have such disability and you know that you cannot do things on your own, there are some guidelines that you will find very helpful.
- Be in contact with a personal support network (PSN). Make sure that they at walking distance and they have quicker access to your home during the emergency situation.
- You need to properly assess your situation. Can you move even on a wheelchair? Do you have enough to eat and drink? Is your wheelchair an electric one? If your home wheelchair friendly? Can you reach the exit points in an efficient manner?
- Your plan needs to involve rendezvous points, contact other people, getting to the escape routes, and taking care of your pets if you have any.
- Make sure that you have an emergency survival kit ready.
Assembling a survival kit for earthquake
If you ask disaster experts, they will advise you to have at least 7 days’ worth of supplies. The items that should be in your earthquake survival kit mainly include the following:
- Nonperishable foods
- Enough water: the general rule of keeping water in emergency survival kit is that there should be one gallon for one person per day.
- A first aid kit which needs to include essential as well as prescription medications
- A sleeping bag
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Good quality knife and a knife opener
- Copies of your personal documents which are important
- Enough cash to spend during the days in which you have to ensure your survival
- Warm clothes
- Map of the area
- Hygiene items including toiletries
- Water purification kit
- Face mask
What to do during an earthquake
During an earthquake, you need find a safe spot in your home and get their as soon as you can. Lock the wheels of wheelchair and cover your head with your arms. Wait for the shaking to stop. If you cannot find a safe spot, just try to get as much cushioning as you can to ensure safety of your neck and head. Pillows and blankets can be quite helpful in this regard.