Watching Disasters

Learn from the mistakes of others, because you won’t live long enough
to make them all yourself is a popular saying in emergency
preparedness circles.

As Altus residents observed this weekend, earthquakes DO happen in Oklahoma.
The Earthquake zone in Oklahoma is generally along I-35 but the Meers
area has a dormant fault nearby. Dormant means it could shift any day

the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers these tips:

Make your home safer to be in during earthquakes and more resistant to
earthquake damage by assessing its structure and contents. Depending
on when and how it was designed and built, the structure you live in
may have weaknesses that make it more vulnerable to earthquakes.

Common examples include structures not anchored to their foundations
or having weak crawl space walls, unbraced pier-and-post foundations,
or unreinforced masonry walls or foundations.

If you own your home, find and correct any such weaknesses, yourself
or with professional help. If you are a renter, ask what has been done
to strengthen the property against earthquakes, and consider this
information in deciding where to rent. If you are building or buying a
home, make sure that it complies with the seismic provisions of your
local building code.

What is in your home can be as or more dangerous and damage-prone than
the structure itself. Any unsecured objects that can move, break, or
fall as an earthquake shakes your home are potential safety hazards
and potential property losses. Walk through each room of your home and
make note of these items, paying particular attention to tall, heavy,
or expensive objects such as bookcases, home electronics, appliances
(including water heaters), and items hanging from walls or ceilings.

Secure these items with flexible fasteners, such as nylon straps, or
with closed hooks, or by relocating them away from beds and seating,
to lower shelves, or to cabinets with latched doors. Ensure that
plumbers have installed flexible connectors on all gas appliances.

Please … Please … Please do not call 911, UNLESS it is an emergency. offers that an emergency is any
situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire
department or ambulance. Examples include:

A fire
A crime, especially if in progress
A car crash, especially if someone is injured
A medical emergency, such as someone who is unconscious, gasping for
air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest
pain, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptoms that
require immediate medical attention

It’s also a good idea to know the number to your emergency services
should 911 be jammed or otherwise not working.

If you don’t study disasters, when you travel to areas where those disasters are real, will you know what to do?

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