As earthquakes have struck around the world with alarming frequency, millions have realized they are unprepared for similar catastrophes close to home. Online disaster plans and older books?heavy with seismic science and a survivalist focus?leave the average reader overwhelmed with details and anxiety. How much water will I need? What if I?m driving? How do I protect my six-year-old? The questions go on?and in this book Maggie Mooney answers them. Her four-week readiness program includes straightforward ...
As earthquakes have struck around the world with alarming frequency, millions have realized they are unprepared for similar catastrophes close to home. Online disaster plans and older books—heavy with seismic science and a survivalist focus—leave the average reader overwhelmed with details and anxiety. How much water will I need? What if I’m driving? How do I protect my six-year-old? The questions go on—and in this book Maggie Mooney answers them. Her four-week readiness program includes straightforward instructions, forms, and checklists. Mooney explains what to expect during a quake, and what to do when the shaking stops. She also addresses both aftershocks and tsunamis.
Use this guide and the checklists inside to get ready:
Find your safe spots at home, at work, at school, and outdoors.
Develop your emergency communication plan.
Shake-proof your home.
Assemble emergency supplies.
By following the steps in the four-week readiness program described here you can avoid injury and ensure you have the food, water and other essentials you need to be prepared rather than scared.
Maggie Mooney is a writer, editor, and community worker. She is author of Canada's Top 100: The Greatest Athletes of All Time, and co-author of Nobel's Women of Peace. She lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia.
Scientists who have spent their lives studying major geological events are convinced that a massive earthquake-the Big One-is imminent on the west coast of North America. And while the west coast is a seismically active area, earthquakes happen almost everywhere on our planet. The earth is constantly moving in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Recent events, including devastating earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand, and Japan, have brought the threat of an earthquake to the forefront of our minds and raised our anxiety levels. But how many of us have actually responded by preparing ourselves for an earthquake happening close to where we live in the near future?
Earthquake expert John Clague watched the March 11, 2011, Japanese earthquake with keen interest. "We can't predict when the next one will occur," said the Simon Fraser University professor, "but we will experience one, and what I'm most interested in is that this earthquake [in Japan] is a perfect analog for what we would expect to see on our coast."
If a major earthquake knocked out your power, disrupted your water supply, and damaged your home, could you cope on your own for three days or more? A major earthquake would inevitably overwhelm local fire and emergency services, and stretch law enforcement capacity. Damage to transportation and communication channels might mean that getting help would take hours or even days. Receiving requested assistance from neighbouring cities might also take days or even weeks. Clearly, help will be in short supply.
Are You Ready for the Big One? is an introduction to earthquakes and-more importantly-earthquake preparedness. We begin by taking a look at the awe-inspiring power of earthquakes and the seismology and geology involved. We then look at earthquake psychology, including your current attitudes and beliefs about this foreign land you're about to visit. This is vital! If you don't have some idea of what you are likely to think, feel, and do during an earthquake, you will not be prepared. Disaster research is a vast and lively field and much has been discovered about how people-the prepared and the unprepared-respond. We also consider other psychological aspects of anticipating a life-threatening event, including anxiety and denial. And we look at the concept of resiliency and how to promote it in family members, especially our children, who can experience less fear about earthquakes and develop more resources for coping.
Next, we consider two important questions:
1. What are the minimum steps necessary to prepare for an earthquake?
2. How can busy people actually accomplish the most basic and necessary preparation tasks?
The answer to both questions is a four-week earthquake readiness program. In week 1, you'll create an emergency communication plan and begin to put together the supplies you will need during an earthquake. In week 2, you'll develop a hazard map and create personal grab-and-go kits. In week 3, you'll practice the essential actions that should become second nature for you and your family during an earthquake. And in week 4, you'll look at safety issues at work, school, and in your car.
In each week you'll use the checklists and shopping lists provided here to simplify preparation. If at the end of four weeks you would like to do some advanced preparation, more information about earthquake-proofing your home is included.
Finally, in this book we talk about specific behaviour guidelines for those brief terrifying minutes during the earthquake, and for the time immediately after an earthquake strikes-including what to do during aftershocks and tsunamis.
The best news is that preparing for an earthquake will help with other disasters and emergencies of all kinds. Even if you aren't convinced that the Big One will come in your lifetime, following the readiness program outlined here will ensure you can cope with power outages, ice storms, floods, and other major disasters and minor inconveniences.
In choosing to prepare for an earthquake you will reduce a host of anxieties and be able to say yes in answer to that all-important question: Are you ready?