For two consecutive Tuesdays, Dubai was shook by earthquakes. First, a 6.3 magnitude quake in Iran Tuesday last week and today, a 7.8 magnitude tremor in the Pakistan and Iran border. Earthquakes on this side of the globe rarely happen so imagine the panic from locals and expats alike experiencing a rare occurrence in the emirate.
I’ve seen some photographs online showing a mass of employees evacuating their offices. Honestly, I am one of them who ran out of the office during the tremor. While we know that this is absolutely wrong, knowing that it’s far more dangerous to be outside during an earthquake, we tend to do this kind of things out of panic.
So I thought of refreshing everyone’s memories (remember grade school? high school?) about the basic stuff one should know to be prepared.
BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE
- Know the safe and the dangerous spots in your house/building. The safe places being under sturdy tables/desks and interior walls while the dangerous ones like glass panes, windows, overhead shelves and free standing furniture.
- Keep items that can easily be broken like bottles, glass and chinaware in closed and secure cabinets. It’s also best if the cabinets are low.
- Put large and heavy objects on lower shelves/cabinets.
- Make sure that beds, couches and sofa are clear from overhead items that might fall during an earthquake.
- Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations.
DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
- PROTECT YOUR HEAD. This is the basic thing taught in school. Hide under a sturdy desk or table and cover your head with your arms.
- Keep calm.
- Stay inside the house/building while it’s shaking. Never go out unless the earthquake is over and it’s safe outside. Remember that there might be aftershocks.
- Move away from shelves, heavy furniture, glass, windows, walls and anything that may fall like chandeliers, frames, mirrors.
- Do not use the elevator. Take the stairs.
- When outside, keep away from trees, buildings, light and electric poles, basically anything that might fall on you.
- When driving, stay away from bridges.
AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
- Check if it’s safe to get out and then vacate the house/building. Again, there might be aftershocks so be alert with these.
- If you’re in a coastal area, be aware that a tsunami might occur.
- Check for cracks, utility leaks and other damages.
- Be careful when opening cabinets as the stuff inside might fall on you.
I hope that helps and I pray that we won’t get yet another shake again. *fingers crossed*