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Ready at Home = Ready to Work

We*Ready Spring 2012


This Edition's Contents

Preparing for the Inevitable

Before an Earthquake: Mitigate!

During an Earthquake: Drop, Cover and Hold On

After an Earthquake: Care for Self, then Others

Preparing for the Inevitable

As major earthquakes continue to make headlines around the globe, Westmont is preparing for our ReadyDay exercise on May 15th. That day, all 80+ campus responders will learn and practice how to swiftly and appropriately respond following a major shaker. But not only those designated responders have a role; everyone is encouraged to check out the resources below to keep your family safe--so you can pitch in to help have a workplace to come back to!

Santa Barbara is no stranger to earthquakes. The June 29th, 1925 quake that rattled the city (6.3 magnitude) left so much rubble that State Street was impassable by car. The unidentified hotel below took quite a hit.

SBEarthquakeSince the 1925 temblor, buildings in Santa Barbara have been subject to strict building codes, and for good reason! However, there are still many other dangers an earthquake poses to your family and home. Did you know that for every $1 you spend on mitigation, you could save $9 in recovery costs?!

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Before an Earthquake: Mitigate!
  • Download the FEMA app on your smartphone or tablet. Click here for more information on this new tool (the video was made before the iPhone app was released; it's now available in the App Store).
  • This 10 minute FEMA video teaches you how to be QuakeSmart.
  • Use this Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt sheet to protect your family and home. It's also helpful around the office!
  • Why is mitigation so important? Watch these two videos to see how an unmitigated kitchen and child's bedroom held up in a recreation of the 1994 Northridge Quake. Want to see something bigger? Check out this video of a 5-story building on a shake table!
  • Want some quick and easy tips on how to prepare for an earthquake? Try some of these:
    • Move heavy items, such as pictures, mirrors or tall dressers, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
    • Secure tall furniture and bookcases with lag bolts to wall studs. Add lips to shelves to prevent costly items from sliding off their supports.
    • Put latches on cabinet doors, especially in your kitchen.
    • Fasten heavy or valuable items to shelves or tables.
    • Secure file cabinets, computers, televisions and machinery that may move during an earthquake.
    • Use easy museum/tack putty to secure fragile objects on tables and shelves.
    • Store potentially hazardous materials such as cleaners, fertilizers, chemicals, and petroleum products in appropriate containers and in sturdy cabinets fastened to the wall or floor.
    • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves and store breakable items in lower cabinets.
    • Ask a carpenter or an electrician to determine whether light fixtures and modular ceiling systems are securely fastened.
    • Be sure your water heater is fastened to the studs or masonry of the wall. If you use propane gas, be sure the storage tank is secured. Unsecured water heaters often fall over during earthquakes, which could rupture rigid water and gas connections as well as deplete a source of clean water.
    • Make sure all gas heaters and appliances are connected to the gas pipe through flexible tubing.
    • Relocate objects to avoid blocking exits.

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During an Earthquake: Drop, Cover and Hold On
  • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

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After an Earthquake: Care for Self, then Others
  • When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move. Then exit the building.
  • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly and people with access and functional needs. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach. Please visit this link to view the tsunami inundation map for Santa Barbara (maps for Goleta, Carpinteria, and other surrounding areas can be found here).

For more information on how to prepare for and respond to Earthquakes, please visit ready.gov/earthquakes.

Most importantly, remember that "God has wisely kept us in the dark concerning future events and reserved for himself the knowledge of them, that he may train us up in a dependence upon himself and a continued readiness for every event."
- Matthew Henry

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