An earthquake is a shaking of the surface of the earth caused by a natural phenomenon. Although we are generally not aware, thousands of earthquakes happen every day. Majority of them are so small in magnitude and, therefore, we do not feel them.
The extent of a tremor is measured by what is called as the Richter scale. It is named after Charles F. Richter who devised the method of computing the magnitude of an earthquake as far back as 1935. I will not go in to details of the calculations but it is fascinating to know about them.
An earthquake with a magnitude of less than 2.5 is called a micro earthquake and, is not generally felt by people. The frequency of such tremors is the highest. The earthquakes of magnitudes in the range of 2.5 to 6.0 are felt by people and they will also cause damages. The major earthquakes which are above 7.0 will cause serious damages and will result in major catastrophes. Such quakes are likes to cause after effects such as tsunamis which in itself may kill thousands of people if proper warnings were not issued.
How to prepare
If you are in an earthquake prone area or if you have received a forecast of one, the first thing is to put together an earthquake emergency kit. This should essentially include a first aid pack so that you can treat yourself or someone else near you who may have suffered injuries.
You may also want to find out safe spots in the places where you are likely to be so that you can reach safety faster. Do not forget to come up with a communications plan with your family and friends so that you can contact them if you need help or vice versa.
The equipment necessary for communicating during an emergency can be found in disaster kits NZ which can be purchased. Therefore, you can avoid the hazel in buying one in advance.
How to face
It would be best if you can move to an open space away from buildings and other structures to minimize the damage that can be caused if they collapse, especially if the tremor is a severe one.
If you are inside a building, do not try to run or use the elevator. Lie down in a place away from windows and things which may break or fall. If you had identified a safe spot earlier you may lie down there. However, if is far, do not try to get there. Look for a place to lie down near you.
If by any chance, you get trapped, try not to scream and cover your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling dust. If at all possible, try to remain calm and use the communication methods you devised earlier.
Once the shaking has ended remain as you are for some time as there may be aftershocks. When you are completely sure that the whole thing is over you may ascertain the damages and take steps to assist the others if you are unharmed or seek assistance if you are harmed.