October Is Earthquake Preparedness Month - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

October Is Earthquake Preparedness Month

Earthquake Awareness Tips

When the remnants of Hurricane Ivan was dumping torrents of rain on east Kentucky in mid-September, residents near Barbourville, London, and Manchester were shaken with a 3.7 magnitude earthquake which shook windows, knocked some items off shelves, and rattled nerves.  Kentucky is affected by earthquakes from several seismic zones in and around our state. The most important one is the New Madrid Seismic Zone, in which at least three great earthquakes, each estimated to have been greater than magnitude 8 on the Richter scale, occurred from December 1811 to February 1812.  In more recent times, an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale occurred in 1980 near Sharpsburg in Bath County. This quake cause an estimated $3 million dollars in damage, 269 homes and 37 businesses in nearby Maysville were damaged. As a result, earthquakes do pose high seismic hazards and risk to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

            The Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) urges you to review you earthquake safety plan this month and prepare you and your family should an earthquake occur.

Before the earthquake:

 

  • Plan and hold earthquake drills for your family. Choose a location where family members will meet if separated during the quake.
  • Make your home safer. Strap water heaters, appliances, and TVs to wall studs. Secure pictures, mirrors, and ornaments to the wall with appropriate fasteners. Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas, and water services.
  • Assemble disaster/survival kits to last 72 hours for each person in the house. Check with local emergency managers for additional tips and safety training.

 

During an earthquake:

 

  • Keep calm. Expect the earthquake to last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  • If indoors, stay there until the shaking stops.
  • Make sure to drop down to the floor and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or an interior wall. Hold onto the furniture and keep your position.
  • If outdoors, move into an open area away from trees, buildings, utility wires, or signs. Stay in the open until the shaking stops.

 

After an earthquake:

 

  • Check for injuries. 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.
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