Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe!
In the past several weeks, Northeast Arkansas has been experiencing an elevated level of earthquake activity. With the recent occurences, and given our close proximity to the New Madrid Faultline, more and more citizens are beginning to dust off their Earthquake safety plans. Is your family (and your home) prepared? If not, we have conducted some research from the American Red Cross and compiled a quick list of ways you can take action to ensure your family, house and peace of mind are all safe and sound.
According to the American Red Cross, "an earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the earth caused by the shifting of rock beneath the earth's surface." In order to be adequately prepared for a sudden onset of seismic activity, the Red Cross suggests the following safety measures be implement:
Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit
- At this link, you will find all materials that should be included in your emergency survival kit. Some items include but are not limited to one gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food items, a flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit and various medications.
Create a Household Evacuation Plan and educate all members of the home on how to enact this plan.
- Discussing plans and strategies ahead of time reduces fear and empowers your family members to react immediately once activity begins rather than spending crucial time panicking.
- Ensure that you, your family members and your children are also aware of the emergency plans for their respective workplaces and schools.
- Ensure each family member is aware of designated "safe places" within your home.
- These could be under sturdy pieces of furniture, under door frames or against interior walls away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that may present a fall risk.
Reinforce your home
- Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs. Then, hire a professional to install flexible fittings to prevent gas or water leaks during a seismic event.
- Avoid hanging heavy items (pictures and mirrors) near beds, couches and anywhere people often sleep or sit.
- Secure cabinets with strong latches or bolts.
- Place large and heavy objects as well as breakable items on lower shelves.
- Secure overhead lighting fixtures.
- If you are building a new home, ensure that your construction plans are up-to-code regarding seismic building standards in your area.
Stay informed about your community's risk for earthquakes.
- The New Madrid Seismic Zone is one of the most prominent features on the U.S. Geological Survey, measuring approximately 200 seismic events per year. This faultline extends roughly 120 miles southward from Missouri and Illinois through the eastern border of Arkansas. The faultline crosses the Mississippi River in three different places and the Ohio River in two.
Inform yourself (and your loved ones) about to how access and utilize the American Red Cross's safe and well website.
Download the American Red Cross Emergency App:
While these are some great starting points in developing and implementing safety measures, you can find a more extensive list of suggestions here. While a major earthquake disaster may not unfold within our lifetimes, it is always smart to have a plan in place.