How to prepare yourself when stationed at a base in an earthquake zone - We Are The Mighty

How to prepare yourself when stationed at a base in an earthquake zone

Readiness is a character trait instilled during basic training that echo throughout one’s career. When in an earthquake zone, a disaster may strike at any time, so it is always vital to be ready. Significant damage accompanies the occurrence of earthquakes, including structural damage to highways, buildings, and bridges, landslides, tsunamis, fatalities and liquefaction. Moreover, earthquakes are naturally occurring, which makes it nearly impossible to prevent them. Nevertheless, it is possible to mitigate their effects even in high-risk areas significantly.

How troops should stay prepared

As earthquakes happen suddenly, violently and without warning, you must be familiar with the common indicators that indicate an earthquake is coming. When in high-risk areas, you need to be knowledgeable about identifying potential hazards ahead of time. Such knowledge enables you to prepare yourself in advance and not to be caught unaware.

How to prepare yourself when stationed at a base in an earthquake zone
Teams from Charlie Company, 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, provide communications to USARAK and HHD, 59th SIG BN as Quick Reaction Force during the aftermath of Anchorage earthquakes. (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs)

During an earthquake, many injuries and fatalities are brought about by things falling or shifting emanating from the shaking of the earth. You can identify such items by conducting an inventory of your base. If you identify an item that can move, fall or break, place it in a closed cabinet or a secondary container. Alternatively, you can securely fasten down objects such as shelves to make them steady. Also, you should take down any hanging things such as mirrors, pictures and portraits near places where people sit or beds.

When an earthquake occurs, it is highly likely to be separated from your troop members as there is too much frenzy, panic and often, overwhelming fear. Therefore, it would be great to establish an emergency communication plan, mainly because electricity will be dysfunctional during the disaster. One proven effective strategy is the two-way radio, which is well-designed to weather disasters better than electricity and cellular networks. 

At the same time, these devices deliver clear audio even in noisy environments and possess remarkably longer battery lives than other electronic communication devices. You and the fellow troop members should develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster, such as a common safe place after the separation.

What essentials do troops need during an earthquake disaster?

You need to have various supplies on hand before an earthquake disaster strikes because you might not have access to food, water, and other necessities.

Fires are one of the potential dangers that emerge during an earthquake; therefore, you need to switch off the gas and keep fire extinguishers at hand to put out fires and pipe wrenches to disconnect the water and gas supplies.

Concerning food, you should stock up on a can opener and canned goods from various food groups. While purchasing these foods, you should ensure that they are ready to eat or require minimal or no preparation. Also, non-perishable foods such as high-calorie energy bars would be helpful for survival.

Another essential that you will require is a first-aid kit which will cater to anyone who suffers an injury. Ensure that the first aid kit contains bandages, gloves, gauzes, a thermometer, pain killers, antibiotics, antiacids, and a supply of any prescriptions.

A flashlight is usually one of the most critical tools in an emergency kit, especially as the power supply will be out. The tool will assist you in locating necessities easily and quickly without much hassle. At the same time, you should verify that you pack spare bulbs and batteries as they will come in handy.

Other essentials that you need to keep with you include thermal blankets, sleeping bags, whistles, ropes and maps.

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