The earthquake on Sunday reminds us that we are also at risk of the ever present threat of an earthquake in Fethiye. Hope for the best, plan for the worst – plan for your earthquake survival now!

Earthquakes are a reality in our area. Luckily most of the recent quakes have only been small tremors but every now and again, as with big earthquake on Sunday, we are reminded of the power of nature.

Of course we never know when the big, big quake will strike but when it does will you be prepared? In fact were you prepared on Sunday if the quake had been bigger? Do you have a plan to protect you and your family?

We all hope for the best but now it’s time to plan for the worst.

Things to Do Now

Keep shoes, clothes and a working torch next to each person’s bed just in case a quake occurs at night.

Identify safe spots in your home, such as under sturdy desks and tables, where you can sit while the quake takes place.

Locate a safe place to meet outside your home after the shaking stops.

Establish an out-of-area contact person who can be called by everyone in the household to relay information.

Provide all family members with a list of important contact phone numbers. Register with the British Consulate so that wardens can try to locate you in the event of the ‘big one’.

Determine the needs of household members and neighbours with special requirements, such as use of a wheelchair, walking aids, special diets, or medication.

Keep copies of essential documents, such as insurance policies and financial records, in a secure location. A safe, grab bag that is easy to get at or inside a waterproof bag in the freezer are all good places.

Have occasional disaster “drills” to practice your plan. Discuss your disaster plan and essential information with your family members and neighbours.

Make up personal and family disaster kits as follows:

Personal Kit

Everyone in your family should have their own personal disaster kits. These kits are collections of supplies they may need when a quake strikes.

Personalize these kits and keep them where they can easily be reached—at home, in the car, at work or school.

A backpack or other small bag is best for these kits so that they can be easily carried in an evacuation. Include the following items:

• Medication.

• First aid kit and handbook.

• Spare glasses and personal hygiene supplies.

• Bottled water.

• Whistle (to alert rescuers to your location).

• Emergency cash.

• Knife.

• List of emergency contact phone numbers.

• Snack foods high in calories.

• Emergency lighting—light sticks and (or) a working torch with extra batteries and light bulbs

• Comfort items such as games and books.

Family Kit

Electrical, water, transportation, and other vital systems can be disrupted for several days after a large earthquake. Emergency response agencies and hospitals will likely be overwhelmed and unable to provide you with immediate assistance.

To help your family cope after a strong earthquake, store a household disaster kit in an easily accessible location, preferably outdoors (not in your garage). This kit, which complements your personal disaster kits, should be in a large watertight container that can be easily moved and should hold at least a 3- to 5-day supply of the following items:

• Drinking water (minimum 5 litres per person per day).

• First aid supplies, medications, and essential hygiene items, such as soap, toothpaste, and toilet paper.

• Emergency lighting—light sticks and (or) a working flashlight with extra batteries and light bulbs (hand-powered flashlights are also available).

• Battery-operated radio (and spare batteries).

• Canned and packaged foods and cooking utensils, including a manual can opener.

• Items to protect you from the elements, such as warm clothing, sturdy shoes, extra socks, blankets, and perhaps even a tent.

• Heavy-duty plastic bags for waste and to serve other uses, such as tarps and rain ponchos.

• Work gloves and protective goggles.

• Pet food and pet restraints.

• Copies of vital documents, such as insurance policies and personal identification.

Things To do When A Quake Strikes

Drop Cover & Hold

Imagine that you hear a low, rumbling, roaring sound. The noise builds, getting louder and louder, for about ten seconds. Then WHAM! There’s a terrific jolt. You feel like someone suddenly slammed on the brakes in the car, or like a lorry just rammed into the side of a building.

The floor seems to be moving beneath you. It’s hard to stand up, or even stay in your seat. When you walk, it’s like trying to walk on a trampoline or a waterbed. You need to DROP, COVER & HOLD.

The majority of injuries from an earthquake are caused by flying debris. Even if your flight instincts kick in, the best way to protect yourself is to DROP, COVER and HOLD.

When the shaking begins drop under a sturdy desk, table or piece of furniture. Hold onto the legs of the furniture and hold this position while counting to 60. This will provide coverage to protect you from flying and falling debris.

If you’re in a HIGH-RISE BUILDING and not near a desk or table, move against an interior wall, and protect your head with your arms. Face away from the windows. Do not use lifts.

If you’re OUTDOORS, move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings or downed electrical wires and poles.

If you’re on a PAVEMENT NEAR BUILDINGS, get into a building’s doorway to protect yourself from falling bricks, glass, plaster, and other debris.

If you’re DRIVING, slowly pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses, power lines, and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over.

If you’re in a SHOP OR OTHER PUBLIC PLACE, do not rush for exits. Move away from display shelves with objects that could fall on you.

If you’re in a WHEELCHAIR, move to cover, if possible, lock your wheels and protect your head with your arms.

If you’re in the KITCHEN, move away from the refrigerator, stove and overhead cupboards. (Take time now to anchor appliances and install security latches on cupboard doors to reduce hazards.)

After an earthquake, be prepared for aftershocks. Plan where you will take cover when these occur.

So get yourself organized now and, if a big quake does occur, you and your family will at least be ready to tackle the initial days.

First Published on 2nd March 2010 – Reviewed 11 June 2012

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