Earthquake preparedness in light of California quakes - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Earthquake preparedness in light of California quakes

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Unlike tornadoes and some other natural disasters, earthquakes hit suddenly and without a warning. Business owners and workers say there is always one thing you can do and that is to prepare. 

Bryan Bruner the manager at Kohl's in Carbondale says he's never experienced a major earthquake in southern Illinois. Despite that, he is prepared in case one does hit.

"I think it's a responsibility that any store manager should take. We care about our customers, we care about our employees," says Bruner. 

He says all natural disasters should be taken seriously, "Knowing your store, where's your safe zone. Our employees have their designated areas with flashlights. We're ready to go just in case if we are to lose power."

Residents in southern California experienced a 7.1 magnitude earthquake last week. That is serving as a reminder to people living along the New Madrid fault line that earthquakes can happen here in Illinois. 

Jim Simpson owns an insurance company in Carbondale. He says homeowners in our region don't usually get earthquake protection, but he recommends it.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency says learning how to "Drop, Cover and Hold On" can help prevent injury during an earthquake. Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the shaking.

The Earthquake Country Alliance in southern California has worked with experts in earthquake science, preparedness, and mitigation to develop a step-by-step guide for staying safe before, during, and after an earthquake.

Four steps to help make you, your family, or your workplace better prepared to survive and recover quickly are:

Step 1: Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.    
Step 2: Plan to be safe by creating a disaster plan and deciding how you will communicate in an emergency.    
Step 3: Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.

These could include things like: water: one gallon per person, per day (2-week supply for home), food (2-week supply for home), flashlight ,battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible), extra batteries, family first aid kit, medications and medical items, etc. You can click here to see a more comprehensive list of items you may want to have on hand as recommended by the Red Cross.

Step 4: Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and considering insurance.

During the next big earthquake, and immediately after, is when your level of preparedness will make a difference in how you and others survive and can respond to emergencies:

Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On when the earth shakes.    
Step 6: Improve safety after earthquakes by evacuating if necessary, helping the injured, and preventing further injuries or damage.     

After the immediate threat of the earthquake has passed, your level of preparedness will determine your quality of life in the weeks and months that follow:

Step 7: Restore daily life by reconnecting with others, repairing damage, and rebuilding community.

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