Post-Earthquake Tips

As officials in central Oklahoma assess for damage from the largest quake to hit the state since record-keeping began, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes® (FLASH)  — the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters — offers the following post-earthquake safety precautions.

“It’s important for consumers to take safety precautions after an earthquake has passed and to expect aftershocks,” says Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “Being aware of the risks of damage to your home will help to keep you and your family out of harms’ way,” she adds.

FLASH provides the following safety precautions:

  • Don’t move injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.
  • Turn on your TV or radio for emergency information and instructions.
  • Check utilities for gas and/or water leaks or broken electrical connections.
  • Be prepared to turn off utilities in the event they are damaged.
  • Clean up medications, cleaning products and/or flammable liquids.
  • Check food and water supplies.
  • Open cabinets carefully to avoid objects falling out.
  • Ensure water is safe to drink.
  • DO NOT use matches in damaged areas until all gas lines are checked for leaks (keep flashlights and plenty of batteries at hand).
  • Use a camera or camcorder to record thoroughly any damage done to your home before any repairs are attempted.
  • Consider having professionals/licensed contractors inspect your home for damage and help in repairs. This includes electricians and professionals to inspect gas lines, remove uprooted trees and check plumbing.
  • Remember that downed or damaged trees can contain power lines that can be hazardous.
  • Use a camera or camcorder to thoroughly record damage to your home before repairs are attempted.
  • Avoid driving as roads may be blocked.
  • If you do leave your home, make sure that carry current identification. You may have to pass through identification checkpoints before being allowed access back to your home/neighborhood.
  • Avoid sightseeing or entering damaged areas unnecessarily. You could be mistaken for a looter.
  • Avoid downed power lines even if they look harmless.
  • Avoid metal fences and other metal objects near downed lines.

For more consumer education information about earthquakes visit www.flash.org.

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