Most earthquakes last less than a minute, but the damage they leave behind can take months to fix. In the wake of an earthquake, additional disasters can crop up — fires, broken utilities, landslides. Resuming normalcy after events like these is never easy, but adequate preparation can help.
How do you prepare for an earthquake? You devise a plan, putting together an emergency kit and taking whatever steps you can to keep your home and family safe before disaster strikes. Doing so can help set your mind at ease, and it could even save your life.
Alaska sees the most earthquake activity of any U.S. state each year, closely followed by California. Most of them are so small that they are not felt at all.
Every U.S. state has experienced an earthquake at some point.
Some coastal earthquakes can trigger tsunamis.
Most earthquakes last about one minute. Some stronger earthquakes last only a few seconds.
Earthquakes can have aftershocks that are nearly as powerful as the main quake. Small foreshocks that precede the main quake can also occur.
Science does not have a reliable means of predicting earthquakes, which is why they often occur without warning.
You don’t know exactly when an earthquake will strike, but if you live in an area that’s prone to them, you can take these steps prepare yourself.
When an earthquake occurs, your main goal is to avoid being injured by falling debris. Here are some tips to help.
Drop, cover, and hold on. Get down on your hands and knees, and shield your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to a large, steady piece of furniture if you can. If possible, avoid areas where items could fall on you.
Stay in bed if you’re there. Cover your head and neck with a pillow to help prevent injury.
If you’re in a vehicle, stop in a safe place. Avoid underpasses, overpasses, and areas near buildings, utility wires, and large trees. Wait out the quake.
If outside, try to get away from places where debris could fall on you. A large open area, like a field, is best.
It’s difficult to know when an earthquake is really over because there’s always the potential for aftershocks. If an aftershock does occur, follow the procedures listed above.
A. No. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that earthquakes occur more frequently in certain types of weather. They can occur anywhere at any point during the year.
A. It depends on the size and cost of your home and the area in which you live. The average earthquake insurance policy costs about $800 per year, but you can expect to pay more if you live in an area that is especially prone to earthquakes.
A. You can get a sense of how likely damaging earthquakes are in your area by looking at the National Seismic Hazard Maps available from the U.S. Geological Survey.
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Kailey Fralick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.