Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Earthquake Preparation

These are just some examples of how people can prepare for an earthquake. This would reduce the effects greatly.

Preparing evacuation plans
Each workplace, restaurant, bar and school must have an earthquake evacuation procedure. This must be tested periodically. The procedure would ensure each person knew how to evacuate the building they were in and where to register after the earthquake was over.
Earthquake practice days
Once a year, all companies and school must practise their earthquake evacuation procedure. This takes a whole day for the people to practise the drill, sit through a debrief and alter the plan as necessary. If each person practises the evacuation procedure, the death toll is likely to be lower.
Organising emergency supplies
Stockpiles of canned food, water, medical supplies and fuel must be organised and stored. A handful of people will be trained to distribute these emergency supplies. It is likely that most shops will be closed for a period of time after the earthquake, so this may be the only source of food and water available.
Training emergency services
The police, fire service and ambulance crews spend one day a month receiving training about how to react in the aftermath of an earthquake. Regular training is the only way to ensure a swift and successful rescue takes place.
Earthquake warning system
A network of warning messages and information broadcasts would be set up. These will be broadcast on television and radio. Messages will also be sent via text message and e-mail. Television and radio signals may not be available if the earthquake causes masts to collapse.
Building regulations
New buildings must adhere to the regulations and all other buildings need to be made ‘earthquake-resistant’ within ten years. Those buildings without such alterations are likely increase the death toll.

Example of changes to buildings etc.:
  • Computer-controlled weights on roof to reduce movement.
  • Steel frames which can sway during earth movements.
  • Automatic window shutters to prevent falling glass.
  • Open areas where people can assemble if evacuated.
  • Foundations sunk into bedrock avoiding clay.
  • ‘Birdcage’ interlocking steel frame.
  • Outer panels flexibly attached to steel structure.
  • Fire-resistant building materials.
  • Roads to provide quick access for emergency services.
  • Rubber shock-absorbers in foundation pillars to absorb earth tremors. 
Earthquake-resistant Building Design Examples: 
^This would be a more detailed post with real-life examples to put it in context.

This links to reducing impacts of Earthquakes:

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